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Mandarins

Mandarins

Paperback

By (author) Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Translated by Charles De Wolf

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  • Publisher: ARCHIPELAGO BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 255 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 185mm x 23mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 4 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0977857603
  • ISBN 13: 9780977857609
  • Sales rank: 389,134

Product description

Extravagance and horror are in his work but never in his style, which is always crystal clear.-Jorge Luis Borges In Akutagawa's] spare, textured prose . . . he brings us clear-eyed glimpses of human behavior.-The New York Times Book Review In Mandarins, 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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Author information

Ryu ?nosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), the "father of the Japanese short story," produced hundreds of stories over the course of his brief and tortured writing career. Akutagawa's work is marked by his profound knowledge of classical and contemporary literature from Japan, China, and the West. A strong autobiographical element also runs through much of his fiction. At the age of 35, Akutagawa died from an overdose of barbiturates, leaving behind a groundbreaking corpus of fiction. Translator: Charles De Wolf is a professor at Keio University. A linguist by background, he has in recent years turned to the study and translation of modern Japanese literature. He has translated numerous stories from Konjaku Monogatari, a twelfth-century folktale collection, including the volume Tales of Days Gone By. His translations have appeared in Japan Airlines' Skyward magazine. De Wolf is also the author of How to Sound Intelligent in Japanese.

Review quote

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