House of the Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories

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House of the Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories

ISBN10: 4770029756


House of the Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories

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title The House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories
authors 川端康成
publisher Kodansha Amer Incorporated
publishedDate 1969
description From Japan's first Nobel laureate for literature, three superb stories explore the interplay between erotic fantasy and reality in a loner's mind. Kawabata's fiction is noted for combining a traditional Japanese aesthetic with modernist, often surreal trends: his richly lyrical prose is imbued with a sense of loneliness and alienation. In these three tales, underlying the erotic fantasy is the protagonists' lack of connection with other people, and their memories of past loves in an empty sterile life. The title story, "House of the Sleeping Beauties," is about a man who visits a brothel where elderly men can spend a chaste but lecherous night with a drugged, unconscious virgin. As he admires the girl's beauty, he recalls his past womanizing, and reflects on the relentless course of old age. In "One Arm," a young girl removes her right arm and gives it to the narrator to take home for the night, a surreal seduction follows as he speaks to it, tries to allay its fears, caresses it and even replaces his own right arm with it. "Of Birds and Beasts" is about a man who lives alone, with a housemaid, preferring the company of the birds and dogs he keeps to human beings. But rather than living animals, these are beautiful objects which, although they give him pleasure, he treats with casual cruelty, in much the same way as he treated his previous lover, a dancer. Beautiful yet chilling, poetic yet subtly disturbing, these stories make compelling reading.
pageCount 149
printType BOOK
categories Fiction
averageRating 4
ratingsCount 8
maturityRating NOT_MATURE
language en

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