Tales of Tears and Laughter: Short Fiction of Medieval Japan

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9780824813154: Tales of Tears and Laughter: Short Fiction of Medieval Japan
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The stories in this collection constitute just a small portion of a vast body of some four hundred short narratives known as otogizoshi. They represent a cross section of medieval Japan in its richness and complexity, a panoply of life teeming with all the possibilities and contradictions of the age.

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Language Notes:

Text: English
Original Language: Japanese

From Publishers Weekly:

As Skord explains in her helpful introduction, the term otogi-zoshi (literally, "companion booklets" or "companion stories") encompasses a body of about 400 short and thematically varied Japanese narratives from the late 1300s to the early 1800s, and Skord has chosen 13 examples here. Although who authored and who read these works remain unknown, it is Skord's convincing argument that the tales "represent a cross section of medieval Japan in all its richness and complexity . . . teeming with all the possibilities and contradictions of the age." Aided by endnotes, the reader can glimpse a realm in which indiscretion is a worse sin than adultery, in which appreciation of poetry defines a person's character. The tales are, as the title suggests, alternately comical and serious, scatological and openly didactic; all possess clear charm and a certain immediacy. At the same time they are slightly impenetrable for Westerners, often concluding with abrupt homilies or other shifts in tone, but this distancing effect proves alluring rather than alienating. Skord, a professor of Asian studies at Manhattanville College, has adapted this elusive form with energy and imagination. Illustrations.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780824815691: Tales of Tears and Laughter: Short Fiction of Medieval Japan

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ISBN 10:  0824815696 ISBN 13:  9780824815691
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, 1993
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