Sunday, 17 April 2011

鍵 -- Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

The Key by Tanizaki is one of the most interesting short novels I've read to date. Being written entirely via diary entries between man and wife and set during post-WW2, I thought I was in for something very oblique and dated.

Perhaps the cover should have told me more. It's not overly explicit, and by today's standards certainly isn't.

This is a completely absorbing and exciting novella formed via such intricate diary entries yet I find it absurd how Tanizaki managed to convincingly write the wife's entries... This is the first work I've read by Tanizaki; perhaps his at times cynical writing portrayed the bitter attitude women have towards their husbands; perhaps that's how he felt women in his life viewed him?

This bitterness and disgusts towards men seems to be an extremely accepted standard by women in real life and in the media,  and it  definitely isn't something I expected to relate to in a Japanese novel from the 50s which is how unique this very short book is.

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