Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki

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Synopsis

The conflict between traditional and modern Japanese culture is at the heart of this novel. Kaname is a smug, modern man living in a modern marriage. He gamely allows his wife to become the lover of another man, an act that does not cure the profound sadness at the heart of their relationship. So Kaname gradually retreats into the protection of traditional rituals, attitudes and tastes, eventually making love to Ohisa, his father-in-law's old-fashioned mistress, as he abandons the modern world entirely. The novel's other characters, including Kaname's wife, his lover, his father-in-law, and even the cities in which they live, all symbolize the modern and ancient ways of life in Japan. Tanizaki's characteristic irony, eroticism, and psychological undertones make Some Prefer Nettles an exceptional and compelling read.
 

About Junichiro Tanizaki

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Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) is one of the major figures of 20th-century japanese literature. Born in the heart of downtown Tokyo, he studied literature and led a bohemian existence at Tokyo Imperial University. His youthful experiences are reflected in his writings, as are the influences of such Western contemporaries as Poe, Baudelaire and Wilde. Following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Tanizaki left Tokyo for the Kyoto-Osaka region, where he wrote his finest works. As a young, cosmopolitan rake he abandoned the superficial Westernization of his student days and immersed himself in japanese tradition and history. The emotional and intellectual crisis sparked by this transition turned a fine writer into one of japan's greatest and most-loved novelists. Junichiro Tanizaki received the Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949.
 
Published December 20, 2011 by Tuttle Publishing. 161 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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