London. 1971. Secker & Warburg. 1st British Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. hardcover. Masuji Ibuse was born in Hiroshima in 1898. He studied French at Waseda University and joined the School of Fine Arts to purse his constant interest in painting. His first story, ‘Salamander, ' was published in 1923, when Ibuse was still a student, and by the early 1930s his eloquent use of dialect and his unique prose style had established him as one of the leading figures in the Japanese literary world. In the years since 1938 he has been awarded almost every major literary prize in Japan, and on the publication of BLACK RAIN Ibuse was presented with both the Cultural Medal and Japan's highest literary award, the Noma Prize. John Bester is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and has been in Japan for seventeen years. He was formerly chief translator for the Japan Quarterly and among the books he has translated are Ibuse's BLACK RAIN and Mishima's SUN AND STEEL. 0436217767. keywords: 41905. inventory # 4806. FROM THE PUBLISHER-The ten stories in this volume cover a wide range of moods and subjects, from cattle breeding to tomb robbery, from satire to fable. The title story tells of a local eccentric, a demented martinet who returns from the war with symptoms of brain damage. Is it shell shock, the villagers wonder, or-a more exciting possibility-congenital syphilis? The truth which emerges is more squalid, yet curiously moving. This bathetic figure, a scruffy clown, becomes a symbol for the higher lunacy of war. ‘Pilgrim's Inn' is a sharply etched vignette of society's callousness towards the individual, while ‘Old Ushitora', a story about the delicate sensibility of the son of a stud-farmer, is bucolic comedy with a cutting edge. Through concentration on the patterns of Japanese rural existence, Ibuse probes into human reaction and motives-and regards his discoveries with a wry astonishment. His style is elusive, dry, and ironic, but the apparent diffidence of his narrative technique is deceptive. The observation is acute and the approach oblique, but the voice that emerges is among the most powerful in contemporary literature. This volume confirms that Ibuse, virtually unknown in the West until the publication of his masterpiece BLACK RAIN, is a major artist of international stature.
Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Aged book. Please note this book is over 20 years old. It will therefore have tanned pages, age spots and plenty of shelf wear. However, for its age it is still very useable, and a great read.
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