‘One of the greatest Japanese writers… his work explores the destructive power of erotic obsessions’ Guardian
‘Outstanding… rich and mysterious’ New York Times Book Review
A new selection and translation of short stories by a hugely prominent classic Japanese writer, filled with eroticism and fantasy
The rich and mysterious short stories of Jun’ichiro Tanizaki pulse with a restless eroticism. Visiting a kingdom ruled by a weak-willed duke, the sage Confucius finds himself drawn into a battle of wills. A naïve servant boy is compelled down a path of vice and sin by his master’s daughter. A young prince finds himself enraptured by his newest possession: a beguiling, enchanting mermaid.
These three stories, two of which are here translated for the first time by Bryan Karetnyk, capture the essence of Tanizaki’s shorter writings. Drawing on tales from both Japanese and Chinese mythology, combined with poignant psychological realism, Tanizaki reveals and revels in the paper-thin line between the sublime and the depraved.