A Cat, a Man, and Two Women: Stories

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Kodansha International, 1990 - Fiction - 164 pages
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A novella and two shorter pieces are variations on a favorite theme: dominance and submission in private relationships. The "man" in the title piece is a typical Tanizaki hero caught up in a war between his former wife and her willful young successor. "The little kingdom" describes the shifting relationship between a hard-pressed schoolteacher and a small but indomitable pupil determined to establish his own rule. The book ends with a sly portrait of a self-important academic, seen from the point of view of a journalist. In a series of interviews where the professor responds to questions merely with grunts the journalist discovers a scandalous hidden side.

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About the author (1990)

A true Edokko (child of Tokyo), born in the low-lying merchant areas of the metropolis, Tanizaki lived his later years in the Kansai region and immersed himself in the traditions of the court culture of ancient Japan. He was also widely read in Western literature. A superb storyteller whose characters delight in the sensual, Tanizaki's tales often combine the erotic with details of traditional Japanese arts. He spent three years translating the eleventh-century novel The Tale of Genji into modern Japanese.

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