Memoir of Forgetting the Capital

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  • Edition: Bilingual
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-12-30
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr

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Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) was one of the most renowned and popular modern Japanese authors and a major literary figure. Though he is best known for his postwar novels, such as The Key(1956) and Diary of a Mad Old Man(1962), and prolific screenplays, Tanizaki began his writing career in 1909, publishing plays, essays, and poetry while producing novels and films. His work is characterized by a suspenseful technique incorporating both past and present realities, which creates a crackling tension between competing timeframes that can be palpable and often erotic.In 1948, Tanizaki completed a volume of poetry entitled Memoir of Forgetting the Capital Flowers( Miyakowasure no ki), heavily influenced by his wartime experiences from 1944 to 1946. Tanizaki wrote these poems as he endured the tumultuous years of the Second World War and Japan's defeat. The tanka poetic form (5-7-5-7-7), as well as the titular reference to the former Japanese capital of Kyoto, denotes a return to classical Japanese themes for the purpose of reflecting on modern issues.Amy Heinrich's elegant translation is made from a volume of Miyakowasure no kithat Tazanaki gave personally to Donald Keene in 1953, when the world-renowned scholar first came to study in Kyoto.Special Features:- Amy Heinrich is a highly reputable and experienced translator of Japanese literature. - While Tanizaki is well known for his novels and plays, his poetry has never before been translated into English. - This translation admirably captures the tone of the original poems and reveals a side of Tanizaki not found in his novels or plays. - Donald Keene, internationally renowned scholar and authority on Japanese studies, wrote the foreword. He unwittingly facilitated this translation by donating the Japanese original to the Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University.

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