Title: The Dark Room
Publication Date: 1975
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.
Tokyo. 1975. Kodansha. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. Winner Of The Tanizaki Prize. Translated from the Japanese by John Bester. 170 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by S. Katakura, incorporating a pen-and-ink drawing by Masuo Ikeda from ‘My Imagination Map’ (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1974). The illustration facing the title page is also by Ikeda from the same work. 0870112554. keywords: Literature Translated Japan Asia. inventory # 7385. FROM THE PUBLISHER - He was safe - or so he thought. He had everything: the modest literary reputation, the comfortable income, above all, the women. ‘Safe’ women. Women who were ‘no trouble.’ Women whose names might change from time to time, but who were always available. To him, they were a group of bodies to be selected from according to the mood of the moment, with varying sexual responses to be savored at leisure and compared. Sex was a relaxation, a reward for labor, an end in itself; the only taboos were domesticity and emotion. But things arose to disturb the carefully arranged pattern. Ugly little echoes from the past. Disturbing pre-echoes from the future. Bizarre images, arising from the subconscious to suggest that all was not as well as it seemed. The women, too, were forever threatening to develop personalities. Takako, for instance, who had apparently seen with clearer eyes than he'd thought, and suddenly gone off to become a respectable married woman- And Maki, who might or might not be a lesbian, but whose very elusiveness had aroused his unwilling interest. Natsue alone seemed to fulfill all the conditions. Only Natsue was pure flesh untainted by troublesome emotions; only Natsue was entirely and reassuringly undemanding—or so he thought again, until he found himself caught in a relentlessly tightening noose of sensuality and dependence. Bookseller Inventory # 7385
Synopsis: The story of a man who was safe - or so he thought. A man to be envied: the comfortable income, above all, the women ... until things began to disturb the carefully arranged pattern of his life, and he found himself caught in a tightening noose of sexual and emotional involvement....
About the Author: Junnosuke Yoshiyuki was born in Okayama City in 1924. Drafted in 1943, he was sent home after three days with bronchial asthma. Two years later he entered Tokyo University, majoring in English literature, and in 1949 he published his first novel, Bara Hambainin. Another novel, Genshoku no Machi, was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize in 1952. In the same year, he was hospitalized with pulmonary tuberculosis, and two years later his left lung was removed. Among other novels published between 1954 and 1967 were Shu-u (Akutagawa Prize) and Hoshi to Tsuki wa Ten no Ana (Grand Prix, Minister of Education Awards). The Dark Room (Anshitsu), his first novel to be translated into English, appeared in 1970 and received the prestigious Tanizaki Prize. An earlier translation he made of four stories from Henry Miller's Nights of Love and Laughter was recently complemented by his Japanese version of Miller's Insomnia or The Devil at Large.
The translator, John Bester, is one of the foremost translators of Japanese fiction. In 1990 he received the first Noma Translation Award for his English version of a short-story collection by Yukio Mishima entitled Acts of Worship.
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