Last week I wrote ad nauseum of my forthcoming trip to Japan. In order to prepare for said trip (and also because I'm super excited) I've been reading all kinds of Japanese literature to get my head in the game as it were. Here are some of my favorites thus far:
If we're going to talk about epic literature from Japan I'd be remiss in not including Tale of Genji. One of the first novels in the world, written by a LADY, it really is the coolest thing ever. But I've never finished it. I'm SORRY! Gosh.
What I have finished are some of the best modernist novels ever. Natsume Soseki could teach Raymond Carver a thing or two about deeply psychological interiority belied by understated language. The Gate is an amazing, slim novel in which the main character and his wife live childless in an idyllic picket fence house. But that's about as peaceful as it gets. The main character hates his job. The couple are spurned by their families as they married without consent, and suddenly his wife's reckless little brother squeezes the strained couple for help on top of it all. So taught, so beautiful, suuuch a good book.