Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction

Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction

by Alfred T. Birnbaum, Birnbaum
     
 

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Irreverent, post-Zen, at times bizarre, the stories in this remarkable collection of Japanese fiction chart new literary and cultural territory. In style and substance--as the title of the collection would suggest--this is something quite different from what the West has come to expect of the Japanese palate.

The writers showcased here represent the brightest and

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Overview

Irreverent, post-Zen, at times bizarre, the stories in this remarkable collection of Japanese fiction chart new literary and cultural territory. In style and substance--as the title of the collection would suggest--this is something quite different from what the West has come to expect of the Japanese palate.

The writers showcased here represent the brightest and the boldest of a new generation. Born after the war, coming of age in the booming eighties, they startle us with their range of emotion, energy, and experience.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As translator and editor Birnbaum aptly points out in his stylish introduction, ``Originality--as distinct from creativity--has never been a Japanese obsession; the society works best within found forms.'' Accordingly, the collection reflects what may seem to Westerners an almost decadent interest in pastiche, in literary appropriation and in the flouting of tradition for its own sake. Hipper than thou, most of the 11 young writers represented here appear out to shock an easily titillated society. Amy Yamada, Japan's answer to Mary Gaitskill, dishes up the words of a ``queen'' employed at an S & M club; in a piece by Masahiko Shimada, described as ``a parody for which there is no original,'' the narrator announces early on, ``My genitals were made for masturbation. Masturbation, my genitals, and my room form a fatal triangle.'' Other contributions are slightly effete: Gen'ichiro Takahashi, for example, serves up a witty deconstructionist critique. Satire reigns supreme, and the most successful and ``original'' entry is by the best-known contributor, Haruki Murakami, who uses mass-media images to deflate the life of an ad man. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9784770016881
Publisher:
Kodansha International
Publication date:
09/01/1993
Series:
Japan's Modern Writers Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.16(h) x 0.96(d)

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