Murder in the Age of Enlightenment

Ryunosuke Akutagawa


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Pushkin Press
26 October 2023
ISBN: 9781805330295
208 pages

From the publisher

'One never tires of reading and re-reading his best works. Akutagawa was a born short-story writer' Haruki Murakami 'The quintessential writer of his era' David Peace These are short stories from an unparalleled icon of modern Japanese literature. Sublimely crafted and shotthrough with a fantastical sensibility, they offer dazzling glimpses into moments of madness, murder and obsession. A talented and spiteful painter is givenover to depravity in pursuit of artistic brilliance. In the depths of hell, arobber spies a single spider's threadbeing lowered towards him. When abody is found in an isolated bamboogrove, a kaleidoscopic account ofviolence and desire begins to unfold. Vividly translated by BryanKaretnyk, this mesmerising collection brings together a seriesof essential works from themaster of the Japaneseshort story. Part of the Pushkin Press Classics series: timeless storytelling by icons of literature, hand-picked from around the globe. Translated by Bryan Karetyn Ryunosuke Akutagawa was one of Japan's leading literary figures in the Taisho period. Regarded as the father of the Japanese short story, he produced over 150 in his short lifetime. Haunted by the fear that he would inherit his mother's madness, Akutagawa suffered from worsening mental health problems towards the end of his life and committed suicide aged 35 by taking an overdose of barbiturates.