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One Thousand and One-Second Stories

Inagaki Taruho

Translated from the Japanese




Out of Print

Inagaki Taruho
One Thousand and One-Second Stories
Series No.: SMC 139
ISBN: 978-1557133618, Pages:
Japanese Literature, Fiction

A Sun & Moon title.

* * *

Dubbed by the Japanese as "the 21st Century's Dandy," Inagaki Taruho writes short and incredibly concentrated stories of his favorite things: machines, airplanes, modern fairies, Saturn, falling stars, the tin moon, geometrical shapes, boys, policemen, aromatic Turkish cigarettes, black cats who turn into smoke, crashing comets, gay bars, and numerous other subjects which run throughout his tales. Writing from the 1920s to the 1970s, Inagaki is a true original, seen by many Japanese as the equal in talent of Tanizaki, Kawabata, and Mishima, and as one of the great Japanese writers of the 20th century.


Book Review(s)




PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, June 1, 1998

by Staff Writer

Consisting almost entirely of pieces written during the 1920s, this collection brings the eccentric, influential work of Taruho into English for the first time. Recalling Albert Giraud's poetry cycle “Pierrot Lunaire,” Taruho's “stories” seem closer to surreal prose poems than to conventional short stories. Most weigh in at less than a page. Clearly as influenced by French symbolist poetry as by Japanese literary traditions, Taruho presents an interesting hybrid, and his work also shows a distinctive fascination with technology. Because the pieces are linked by shared imagery (the moon, pistols, the stars, the color blue) rather than by coherent narrative, they occasionally fall into repetition or forced whimsy. Despite these flaws, Taruho creates an original, odd, delightful world in which almost anything can happen. This publication of Taruho's work offers a valuable glimpse into the mind of an unusual Japanese writer better known in his own country than abroad, of whom the more exportable Yukio Mishima observed, “There is Before Taruho and After Taruho.” Vita provides an informative biographical and literary introduction.





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