The Beautiful and the Grotesque
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The Beautiful and the Grotesque

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Ever since his death in 1927, Ryunosuke Akutagawa has been hailed as one of the greatest short story writers in world literature. Most famous for his story Rashomon and the Kurosawa movie it inspired, Akutagawa’s wide range of fiction is beautifully displayed in this newly reissued collection of his stories. With characteristic lyricism and great style, the stories here ca...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 26th 2010 by Liveright (first published 1924)
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Sep 28, 2011 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: award winning Japanese authors
Recommended to Mariel by: Akira Kurosawa's award winning face
This is so unexpected! I didn't, you know, expect to win the Akutagawa prize for Japanese short story writing. There are so many people I want to thank... First, there's myself. I couldn't have done it without me-- *The microphone squeals as it is forcibly ripped from my grasping hands* Akira Kurosawa, you rat bastard! Rashômon would not have been made without me! Give- me- back- my- prize!

"Throughout these stories, Akutagawa captures the often confused spirit of a Japan undergoing great change...more
Apr 25, 2012 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
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I enjoyed this. It's a collection of short stories by Japanese author Akutagawa Ryuunosuke (probably best known as the author of the short story that Kurasawa's film Rashômon is based on) on a wide range of topics, from the fantastical (The Kappa [intriguing!]; The Badger; The Dog, Shiro) to the historical (The Robbers [my favorite]; The Dolls; The Lady, Roku-no-miya [also lovely]) to the somewhat meta (Withered Fields and Absorbed in Letters [both of which also qualify as historical, but have a...more
Perhaps most known in the Western world for his classic story "Rashomon", Akutagawa Ryunosuke is a master of the macabre. By the same token however, Akutagawa is simultaneously one of the most prolific writers of early modern Japan. This collection delivers exactly what it promises: a showcase of the writer's finest short tales in which he flawlessly intermingles the most strikingly graphic images with a life affirming heartbeat - rhythmically pulsating beneath the dark and gloomy surface.
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Akutagawa Ryūnosuke or Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (芥川龍之介) was one of the first prewar Japanese writers to achieve a wide foreign readership, partly because of his technical virtuosity, partly because his work seemed to represent imaginative fiction as opposed to the mundane accounts of the I-novelists of the time, partly because of his brilliant joining of traditional material to a modern sensibility, an...more
More about Ryūnosuke Akutagawa...
Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories Kappa In a Grove Hell Screen Rashomon

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