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Ryunosuke Akutagawa blends a sense of sad inevitability with subtle irony. Reflective and often humorous, these tales reveal an enormous amount about Japanese culture, while the inner struggles of the characters always strike the universal.

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  • Paperback | 255 pages
  • 147.32 x 185.42 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • 0977857603
  • 9780977857609
  • 482,546

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The flow of his language is the best feature of Akutagawa's style. Never stagnant, it moves along like a living thing . . . His choice of words is intuitive, natural - and beautiful.--Haruki Murakami The works of Akutagawa comprise, in the literary sense, an indispensable anatomy of melancholy. He was both traditional and experimental and always compelling and fearless. As Joseph Brodsky said, Akutagawa loved the world strangely. There is no writer quite like him. The translations of Charles De Wolf make for the perfect duet between languages. This is a wonderful collection. --Howard Norman Extravagance and horror are in his work but never in his style, which is always crystal-clear.--Jorge Luis Borges

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About Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Born in Tokyo in 1892. In 1915, he published Rashomon, which gained international recognition and became a classic film. After a period of severe depression, Akutagawa committed suicide in 1927, at age thirty-five. Eight years after Akutagawa's death he was commemorated through the establishment of the Akutagawa Prize for literature, the most prestigious literary prize in Japan. Charles DeWolf is a professor at Keio University in Tokyo, and is a translator and linguist specializing in classical and modern Japanese literature. His past translations include Konjaku Monotagari's "Tales of Days Gone By" He is also the author of How to Sound Intelligent In Japanese: A Vocabulary Builder, and a contributor to Japan Airlines "Skyward" magazine.

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