Mandarins: Stories

Front Cover
Archipelago Books, 2007 - Fiction - 255 pages
6 Reviews
"Extravagance and horror are in his work but never in his style, which is always crystal clear."-Jorge Luis Borges

"In [Akutagawa's] spare, textured prose . . . he brings us clear-eyed glimpses of human behavior."- The New York Times Book Review

In Mandarins, Akutagawa blends a sense of sad inevitability with subtle irony. Reflective and often humorous, these tales reveal an enormous amount about Japanese culture, but above all the inner struggles of the characters always strike the universal.

Ryunosuke Akutagawa was born in Tokyo in 1892. After a period of severe depression, Akutagawa committed suicide in 1927, at age thirty-five. Eight years after his death he was commemorated through the establishment of the Akutagawa Prize for literature, the most prestigious literary prize in Japan.

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Review: Mandarins: Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

User Review  - Stephen Butt Butt - Goodreads

To say Akutagawa writes well is a ridiculous understatement. I was so often taken by his use of language -- and this was through a translator, no less. The themes and styles of these stories vary ... Read full review

Review: Mandarins: Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

User Review  - Tonymess - Goodreads

“Mandarins” contains fifteen stories as well as a detailed notes section, which explains the connection to the traditional Japanese tales as well as giving detail on the text. The title story is about ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Ryu ?nosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927), the "father of the Japanese short story," produced hundreds of stories over the course of his brief and tortured writing career. Akutagawa’s work is marked by his profound knowledge of classical and contemporary literature from Japan, China, and the West. A strong autobiographical element also runs through much of his fiction. At the age of 35, Akutagawa died from an overdose of barbiturates, leaving behind a groundbreaking corpus of fiction.
Translator: Charles De Wolf is a professor at Keio University. A linguist by background, he has in recent years turned to the study and translation of modern Japanese literature. He has translated numerous stories from Konjaku Monogatari, a twelfth-century folktale collection, including the volume Tales of Days Gone By. His translations have appeared in Japan Airlines’ Skyward magazine. De Wolf is also the author of How to Sound Intelligent in Japanese.

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