Known primarily in the West for providing the source story to Kurosawa's wonderful film Rashomon, in Japan Akutagawa is regarded as the father of the modern short story and as a cult figure, revered for his short, tragic life and the sinister shades contained in many of his stories. This collection includes the disturbing and perfectly rendered "Hell Screen." Recommended By Jason C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A stunning deluxe edition of one of Penguin Classics' most popular translations
Ryünosuke Akutagawa is one of Japan's foremost stylists — a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty and wild humour. Rashömonand In a Bamboo Grove inspired Kurosawa's magnificent film and depict a past in which morality is turned upside down, while tales such as The Nose, O-Gin and Loyalty paint a rich and imaginative picture of a medieval Japan peopled by Shoguns and priests, vagrants and peasants. And in later works such as Death Register, The Life of a Stupid Man, and Spinning Gears, Akutagawa drew from his own life to devastating effect, revealing his intense melancholy and terror of madness in exquisitely moving impressionistic stories.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
"A diverse collection of short fiction to keep alive enjoyment of the unique talent [Akutagawa] was." Japan Times
About the Author
Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927), short-story writer, poet, and essayist, one of the first Japanese modernists translated into English. He was born in Tokyo in 1892, and began writing for student publications at the age of ten. He graduated from Tokyo University in 1916 with an English Literature degree and worked as a teacher before becoming a full time writer in 1919. His mother had gone mad suddenly just months after his birth and he was plagued by fear of inherited insanity all his life. He killed himself in 1927.
Haruki Murakami has written eleven novels, including Kafka on the Shore, as well as numerous other works.
Jay Rubin's translations include many of Haruki Murakami's works.
Yoshihiro Tatsumi is often called "the grandfather of Japanese alternative comics." His graphic novels include The Push Man and Other Stories.