"Dark pictures" and other stories
Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 177 pages
The short stories that Noma Hiroshi produced in the years of confusion & self-questioning after World War II struck a deep response in his readers. In the three stories contained here--"Dark Pictures," "A Feeling of Disintegration," & "A Red Moon in Her Face"--the main characters are all young men who have lived through the war but have emerged far from unscathed. The "dark pictures" of the title refer to paintings & engravings by Brueghel, which the protagonist & his friends had viewed together. The miseries depicted in Brueghel's work seem in retrospect to encapsulate all the miseries the main character has suffered since seeing his friends: persecution, self-doubt, sexual anxiety, warfare, imprisonment, bombardment, & the miseries of life in Japan after the defeat. The other two stories are set in the postwar world of black marketeers & bombsites, but they too concern young men whose universal anxieties about sexual desires & their place in the world are overshadowed by memories of the brutality of war.
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Akamatsu appeared Arai Yukio Arai's army bastard began body Bruegel burakumin cheeks clearly cold Comintern consciousness corridor course Dark Pictures dead deep dim lantern eating house emotion eyes face Feeling of Disintegration felt field of vision flesh friends front Fukami Shinsuke gaze Hayama Junichi head heart holes Horikawa Kurako human inside Japan Japanese kind Kitayama Toshio Kiyama Shogo Koizumi Kiyoshi Kyoto Kyoto University landlady laugh left-wing legs light living looked memory mind Mount Samat mouth Nagasugi Eisaku Narodniks neck Noma Hiroshi Noma's nonetheless Oikawa Ryuichi once Osaka path political Red Moon right hand seemed sensation sense sexual Shinsuke's Shizuko shogi side silent skin smile someone stared story strange student suddenly suffering suicide talk Taniguchi terms of sollen thick thought thrust tion tone trying turned voice walked woman words Yeah youth Yugami