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Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The novella is just the third book to be released in the U.S. by the prolific and legendary Mario Bellatin, one of today’s leading Latin American novelists. With Shiki Nagaoka, Bellatin introduces the neglected work of a mysterious Japanese writer – a character Bellatin invented at a writer’s conference after being asked for his influences. When he saw that his joke was be ...more
Paperback, 78 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Phoneme Media (first published 2001)
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3.75  · 
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 ·  126 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: The nose that knows
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Mike Puma
At the end of his life he embraced the idea that, realistically, the size of his nose has determined his existence.

Where does a person fit in society that allows them the vantage point to hone their artistic craft; or, perhaps, is it how doesn’t an artist fit into society that shapes the tools for their artistic vision? Frustration, alienation and solitude are a fiery furnace where great beauty can be forged. Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction is a ‘biography’ written by Mario Bellatin on the lif
Mike Puma
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the few
Shelves: 2015, mexican-author
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Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book.

"When he turned fifteen, Shiki Nagaoka began to study foreign languages. In an astonishingly short period, he came to master them with admirable skill. He then began to write his literary texts in English or French, to later convert them into his mother tongue, thereby achieving the effect that everything from his pen resembled a translation. Years later he was able to put into writing the ideas which inspired that exercise. In his essay "Treatise on the Observe
Damián Vives
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bellatin construye con solvencia la biografía de un personaje apócrifo. La documentación fotográfica que acompaña al texto funciona como un juego de espejos que construye en el lector la sensación de verosimilitud de un imposible. La addenda del cuento de Akutagawa y la narración anónima funcionan de la misma manera.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read during a period when I was afflicted by unstoppable allergies, this fictional biography of an obscure Japanese author with a grotesquely large nose resonated with me…as you might imagine.

Even so, were I not feeling like my own nose had grown to ponderous dimensions, I would have still enjoyed Mario Bellatin’s careful deployment of deformation as humor and as metaphor. Most of Bellatin’s production crosses into the absurd, and in that he falls in line with a few other Latin American authors
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, favorites
This has to be my favorite of Bellatin's literature so far. Its clever in style and the story is filled with humor. However, it is also filled with the sadness of being a deformed/disabled person and inspiration that a disability can bring to a person's life.I simply loved it.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite interesting, nice light reading
K's Bognoter
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
“In his final years Shiki Nagaoka wrote a book that for many is fundamental. Unfortunately it dosen’t exist in any known language.“

Mexican writer Mario Bellatin’s “Shiki Nakaoka. A Nose for Fiction” is a fascinating portrait of the mostly unknown, but mysteriously influential japanese writer, Shiki Nagaoka, whose extraordinary nose "was such that he was considered by many to be a fictional character."

And by the way: yes, Shikii Nagaoka is indeed a fictional creation by the literary trickster Bel
Getty Hesse
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a rather interesting book, a fictional biography, if you will, which explores cultural tension, societal isolation, and the unknowability of the individual. The subject, Shiki Nagaoka, is the tensions of cultural change made manifest, his nose representing (to the people around him, as well as himself) the westernizing influence on Japan. He both repudiates his nose (and western culture), even feels shame for it, and is fascinated by it. He writes numerous fictions centering around aberr ...more
Jorge Esquivel
Biografía ficticia, novela corta, excelente texto. Recomendado por Bolaño - junto al excelentísimo Daniel Sada- Bellatin no defrauda. Me parece que comparte con Alejandro Zambra el ingenio no así el estilo que es más sobrio y elegante. Conseguir el resto de sus novelas cortas es un deber al que me acometo ya. Junto con Zambra, Aira, Sada forma aparte de los contemporáneos que están escribiendo de una manera nueva, fresca y sorprendente.
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Mario Bellatin grew up in Peru as the son of Peruvian parents. He spent two years studying theology at the seminary Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo and graduated from the University of Lima. In 1987, Bellatin moved to Cuba, where he studied screenplay writing at the International Film School Latinoamericana. On his return to Mexico in 1995, he became the director of the Department of Literature and Hum ...more