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."
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Review: Mandarins: Stories by Ryūnosuke AkutagawaUser Review - Aruna - Goodreads
A wonderful, ecclectic collection of compelling stories exposing the tensions of existing in a state of flux. Akutagawa's stories are absolutely captivating. Each story is a microcosm of a universal ... Read full review
Review: Mandarins: Stories by Ryūnosuke AkutagawaUser Review - Powells.com - Goodreads
This newly translated collection of Akutagawa short stories is long overdue. Continuing the themes set forth in his collection Rashomon, the stories may be set in Japan, but the characters and their ... Read full review