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A Cat, a Man, and Two Women Zobacz większe

A Cat, a Man, and Two Women - Tanizaki Junichiro

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Here is Tanizaki at his best, displaying--in a first international edition--the skills that made Mishima call his writing above all, delicious, like French or Chinese cuisine.

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Tanizaki has long been regarded as one of the giants of twentieth-century Japanese writing. In the postwar period, most of his works have become known worldwide, and his place in modern literature is as assured as it is eminent.

What distinguishes this wonderful new collection--a novella (the title story) and two shorter pieces--is its lightheartedness, its comic realism. All three stories, however, are variations on a favorite theme: dominance and submission in private relationships. The man in the title piece is a typical Tanizaki hero--spoiled, self-indulgent, and obstinately ineffectual--caught up in a war between his vindictive former wife and her willful young successor, both rivals of the fourth party in the title: Lily--seductive, elegant, and magnificently in control--a tortoiseshell cat. The struggle among these three female characters for possession of this feckless man, and his bumbling attempts to assert himself, make for a series of richly entertaining confrontations.

This is followed by The Little Kingdom, which describes the curiously shifting relationship between a hard-pressed schoolteacher and a small but indomitable pupil determined to establish his own rule. And the collection ends with Professor Rado, a sly portrait of a self-important academic, seen from the point of view of a journalist eager to get a story. In a series of interviews, the professor responds to questions merely with grunts; but by accident the journalist ultimately discovers a scandalous hidden side to this eminently respectable gentleman--one so comically grotesque that it could only have come from Tanizaki's well-known store of erotic curiosities.

Here is Tanizaki at his best, displaying--in a first international edition--the skills that made Mishima call his writing above all, delicious, like French or Chinese cuisine.

Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN) 1992
Publication Date: 1992
Binding: Paperback
Edition: First Paper