Some Prefer Nettles Epub ✓ Some Prefer eBook

Some Prefer Nettles I enjoyed Some Prefer Nettles immensely If you appreciate or seek classic literarary fiction, Japanese novels, a well formed sentence and many of them over plot, ambiguous endings, complex family dynamics, imperfect marriages, and the sound of rain frogs on a summer s eve, you likewise may appreciate it.For an excellent review, read this from William I enjoyed Some Prefer Nettles immensely If you appreciate or seek classic literarary fiction, Japanese novels, a well formed sentence and many of them over plot, ambiguous endings, complex family dynamics, imperfect marriages, and the sound of rain frogs on a summer s eve, you likewise may appreciate it.For an excellent review, read this from William Japanese is a vague language and they produce vague books They prefer their prose to be misty, says the prolific Japanese translator Edward Seidensticker in his introduction, To suggestthan it says The great Japanese author Jun ichir Tanizaki traces it all the way back to the meandering, oblique Tale of Genji We Japanese scorn the bald fact, he says, and we consider it good form to keep a thin sheet of paper between the factand the words So here s this thin Jamesian sheet of Japanese is a vague language and they produce vague books They prefer their prose to be misty, says the prolific Japanese translator Edward Seidensticker in his introduction, To suggestthan it says The great Japanese author Jun ichir Tanizaki traces it all the way back to the meandering, oblique Tale of Genji We Japanese scorn the bald fact, he says, and we consider it good form to keep a thin sheet of paper between the factand the words So here s this thin Jamesian sheet of paper Kaname and Misako are getting divorced, if they ever get around to it Nothing dramatic has happened It s a banal divorce They re just not that into each other Misako has a lover Kaname s main concern is that when the divorce happens, the lover had better settle down with her to save embarrassment I too have been banally divorced, and I loved this it reminded me of some parts of mine The part where for a while we thought we would be friends, that we d still be important to each other even if we didn t stay married The part where the loss of love isn t even that interesting the logistics of divorce are the scary part.All this and puppet shows Tanizaki, in his youth a dangerous writer, began to look backwards as he aged, as the timid do Kaname finds truth in the old fashioned Japanese puppet shows No matter how inspired an actor was, one still said to oneself That s Baiko, or, That s Fukusuke But here one had only the puppet Koharu herself Miss Piggy or gtfoKaname wishes the person would disappear, until only the performance remains He finds his life too complicated His father in law has a consort, O hisa, almost a concubine, a much younger, submissive woman with her teeth blackened in the old fashioned style She resembles a puppet Kaname would like a puppet He s a stand in for Tanizaki, who set his own wife up with a poet friend of his as their marriage washed away Tanizaki wrote this book two years before they got divorced it may be a subtle hint, but one would imagine she got it this is an actual thingO hisa isn t quite what she presents as Flashes of rebellion show under her makeup Kaname doesn t come off terribly well, as he curls up The ending is subtle and brilliant Apparently Tanizaki is known for good endings The book says little and implies a lot It s short and dense Seidensticker says that Chinese novels are precise, and Japanese ones are misty I read a lot of Chinese novels last year he s right and I m starting to read a lot of Japanese novels now There s been a dreamlike quality to many of them Puppet shows are still silly, but this is a deep book all of these are very serious men By the early twentieth century Japan had for decades been pursuing a policy of industrialization Generally, this push toward modernization began with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 Now it s sixty years later, 1928, and we find ourselves near Osaka in the home of Kaname and Misako For a number of years they ve been trapped in a loveless marriage Neither knows how to proceed with the inevitable divorce They are both stuck and suffering Kaname, who considers himself a modern man, has even allo By the early twentieth century Japan had for decades been pursuing a policy of industrialization Generally, this push toward modernization began with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 Now it s sixty years later, 1928, and we find ourselves near Osaka in the home of Kaname and Misako For a number of years they ve been trapped in a loveless marriage Neither knows how to proceed with the inevitable divorce They are both stuck and suffering Kaname, who considers himself a modern man, has even allowed Misako to see a lover, even though they still share the same house A big problem is their young son Hiroshi, about ten, who, with the usual prescience of smart children, has intuited that something is terribly wrong One morning Kaname arranges to meet his father in law at the bunraku puppet theater in Osaka, a favorite haunt of that connoisseur of Japanese culture Misako can t bear to go since it means she ll have to forgo a meeting with her lover, she ll have to present herself to her father as Kaname s devoted wife, and she ll have to share the company of O hisa, her father s mistress, a courtesan considerably younger than herself The play that day is Chikamatsu s The Love Suicides 1703 Tanizaki deftly draws parallels between his characters s predicament and the melodramatic action on the stage The motif of the puppet theater is ideal, since it suggests how the principals are acting a game or masque among themselves Kaname s father in law has brought food in traditional gold flecked, black lacquer boxes He talks a lot about O hisa s classical garb which he busies himself buying to suit his tastes O hisa s teeth have been blackened in the time honored, esthetically pleasing manner By today s standards, even in Japan, most would consider her a virtual slave, since everything she does is solely for the old man s pleasure She is virtually a cipher toward that end Misako represents the female side of the modern traditionalist continuum, just as the old man does the male side The old man likes to argue the merits of Osaka style puppet theater versus the Tokyo style He goes on about the correct way to sing the old songs Kaname is torn He is intoxicated by the old ways and his father in law s lifestyle but thinks of himself as modern Enter Takanatsu, Kaname s cousin, on one of his periodic visits from Shanghai Takanatsu s a fascinating character who s able to articulate Kaname s indecisiveness with brutal clarity With Takanatsu s arrival we see how truly split Kaname is between so called modern Western views and the lure of old Japan Even the house in which he and Misako live is split between a Western wing and a Japanese wing Takanatsu, who s been in touch with Kaname by post, arrives with the hope of ending the masque, of revealing the players s true faces The old man s ways constitute a limiting provincialism that Kaname acknowledges yet cannot relinquish Especially fascinating are the digressions Tanizake pursues with regard to Edo Period art, which is so reverenced by the father in law I adore this novel Tanizaki s touch is deft, his novel s emotional impact powerful There is a lot of the grass is greener on the other side in this short little classic The question is what side of the fence is greener There is the west is best or go with the traditional Japanese culture, live life like modern Tokyo or be like the country hicks in Osaka, and stay married where there is obvious love but no sex or divorce and proceed into new marriages Japanese puppet theatre is lovingly featured as well. Tanizaki is one of the greats in Japanese literature and the only one that I know who was obsessed with how the West mixed with the old Japanese culture in its practice as well as its aesthetic The puppet theater in the novel is worth the price alone, but what is fascinating about this book is how Tanizaki shares his doubts and love of western culture It was a conflict with him, and this is what makes his literature so unique in Japanese 20th Century letters. Introduction Some Prefer Nettles Deliberate with an emphasis on aesthetics The blurb gives a coarse approximation of the story, but fails to capture the essence and tone of it Kaname and Misako s disintegrating marriage is the vehicle for observing a multitude of attitudes in post Meiji Japan There is conflict and slippage between the modern and traditional ways, advantages and disadvantages Tanizaki leaves the reader to decide for themselves The power here is the rich and evocative language, the descriptions This is not Deliberate with an emphasis on aesthetics The blurb gives a coarse approximation of the story, but fails to capture the essence and tone of it Kaname and Misako s disintegrating marriage is the vehicle for observing a multitude of attitudes in post Meiji Japan There is conflict and slippage between the modern and traditional ways, advantages and disadvantages Tanizaki leaves the reader to decide for themselves The power here is the rich and evocative language, the descriptions This is not an action oriented story, but rather a sensual exploration Beautiful, perhaps even indulgent, for one looking for a contemplative read The marriage of Kaname and Misako is disintegrating whilst seeking passion and fulfilment in the arms of others, they contemplate the humiliation of divorce Misako s father believes their relationship has been damaged by the influence of a new and alien culture, and so attempts to heal the breach by educating his son in law in the time honoured Japanese traditions of aesthetic and sensual pleasure The result is an absorbing, chilling conflict between ancient and modern, young and old The story of the gradual disintegration of a marriage, Some Prefer Nettles is not Tanizaki s novels, but contains moments of beauty and poetry interspersed between pages of often too stilted dialogue Perhaps the dialogue is purposefully stilted after all the key theme of the novel is the disaffection between the married couple Kaname and Misako, however their separation is a reflection of wider societal trends which Tanizaki is commenting and reflecting on Kaname, whose Western sensibilitie The story of the gradual disintegration of a marriage, Some Prefer Nettles is not Tanizaki s novels, but contains moments of beauty and poetry interspersed between pages of often too stilted dialogue Perhaps the dialogue is purposefully stilted after all the key theme of the novel is the disaffection between the married couple Kaname and Misako, however their separation is a reflection of wider societal trends which Tanizaki is commenting and reflecting on Kaname, whose Western sensibilities area product of his fantasies than any objective reality his favourite Western book, The Arabian Nights is in fact an Eastern one, and the Western prostitute he is fascinated by is in fact not likely Western at all in many ways the novels other key theme is the destruction of these mirages, these fantasies which dominate Kaname s psyche, but which he gradually sheds beneath a newfound fascination for Japanese values Kaname doesn t realise, however, that the ideals he creates about Japan are just as fantastical as his ones of the West it is this inability to confront and recognise reality which is the key reason for his split with his wife Misako his idealisations render him incapable of forming concrete relationships with other people, until they begin to resemble the dolls in the plays he admires.Like most of Tanizaki s novels, the innermost feelings of the characters are subtly rendered via symbols, however the novel lacks the punch of The Makioka Sisters the ethereality of Naomi or the sad, somnolent beauty of his treatise In Praise of Shadows I had not expected to be so drawn in by this book after reading the blurb Just because I like to read a variety of writers across countries and genres I decided to give it a try Also, I am fascinated by Japanese culture Certainly I am a big fan of Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro, though the latter cannot be strictly called a Japanese writer Tanizaki brilliantly captures the angst which comes when you are caught between two things you like not like, are used to cannot really accept The o I had not expected to be so drawn in by this book after reading the blurb Just because I like to read a variety of writers across countries and genres I decided to give it a try Also, I am fascinated by Japanese culture Certainly I am a big fan of Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro, though the latter cannot be strictly called a Japanese writer Tanizaki brilliantly captures the angst which comes when you are caught between two things you like not like, are used to cannot really accept The old way of life one has grown up with, it is a part of one s being yet, the pull of modernity and the changes it brings are not bad either What you choose to accept and what to reject is entirely personal, it cannot be dictated I also love the open ending, you are and are not sure what the future of the characters hold


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