• Ryünosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is one of Japan's foremost stylists - a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty and wild humour. 'Rashömon' and 'In a Bamboo Grove' inspired Kurosawa's magnificent film and depict a past in which morality is turned upside down, while tales such as 'The Nose', 'O-Gin' and 'Loyalty' paint a rich and imaginative picture of a medieval Japan peopled by Shoguns and priests, vagrants and peasants. And in later works such as 'Death Register', 'The Life of a Stupid Man' and 'Spinning Gears', Akutagawa drew from his own life to devastating effect, revealing his intense melancholy and terror of madness in exquisitely moving impressionistic stories.

  • Prefiguring the vital modernist voices of the Western literary canon, Akutagawa writes with a trenchant psychological precision that exposes the shifting traditions and ironies of early twentieth-century Japan and reveals his own strained connection to it. These stories are moving glimpses into a cast of characters at odds with the society around them, singular portraits that soar effortlessly toward the universal. "What good is intelligence if you cannot discover a useful melancholy?" Akutagawa once mused. Both piercing intelligence and "useful melancholy" buoy this remarkable collection. Mandarins contains three stories published in English for the first time: "An Evening Conversation," "An Enlightened Husband," and "Winter."

  • 'He had the Ten Kings of Hell and their minions over in one small corner, and everything else - the entire screen - was enveloped in a firestorm so terrible you thought the swirling flames were going to melt the mountain of Sabres and the Forest of Swords.'One of the towering figures of modern Japanese writing, Akutagawa's early career was distinguished by imaginative, beautifully crafted stories of medieval Japan, rich with period detail. These two stories include his great masterpiece of that period, 'Hell Screen', and the parable of a thread-thin chance of escape for a sinner in the Pool of Blood.This book includes Hell Screen and The Spider Thread.

  • 'What is the life of a human being - a drop of dew, a flash of lightning? This is so sad, so sad.'Autobiographical stories from one of Japan's masters of modernist story-telling.Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927). Akutagawa's Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories is also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Voici un choix de cinq nouvelles inédites par l'auteur de Rashômon et autres contes, écrites dans le tourment des insomnies et du mal de vivre, où l'on retrouve les thèmes de prédilection de ce maître du récit bref : destinées humaines marquées du même caractère dérisoire, victimes d'une identique rupture d'équilibre, qu'elles soient aux prises avec les subtilités du cour féminin comme dans Automne, ou avec les réalités de la vie conjugale (Un mari moderne), souvent poussées par l'implacable nécessité (Un crime moderne) et baignant parfois dans une atmosphère fantastique non dénuée d'humour (La Magicienne), mais surtout marquées par le regret du passé qu'incarnent les Poupées d'autrefois dans leurs boîtes de paulownia.

  • This collection features a brilliant new translation of the Japanese master's stories with an introduction by Haruki Murakami. Akutagawa's disturbing tales of human passion capture the cultural upheaval of early twentieth century Japan, ranging from 'In the Grove,' the basis of Kurosawa's famous film Rashomon, to Akutagawa's later, more autobiographical writings.

  • 'Oh the cruelty of time, that destroys all things!'Beguiling, strange and hair-raising tales from early 20th century Japan: Nagai's Behind the Prison, Uno's Closet LLB and Akutagawa's deeply macabre General Kim. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

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