One Thousand and One-Second Stories

Inagaki Taruho, Author, Tricia Vita, Translator, Tricia Vita, Introduction by
Inagaki Taruho, Author, Tricia Vita, Translator, Tricia Vita, Introduction by Sun and Moon Press $12.95 (170p) ISBN 978-1-55713-361-8
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-1-933382-28-9
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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. (July)
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