The death of a great
writer is sad, learning of
another not so
Well, the news this morning was sad for the fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez who died this morning at the age of 87. Anyone who has read One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera or any of his other books will know a great master has passed on. I actually started reading a book of his two days ago – The Autumn of the Patriarch and it`s quite busy text wise in the first few pages so I`m finding it tough to get into but that`s probably because I have another book on the go at the moment and should really stick to one at a time!! Well no, sometimes I can have two books on the go but in this case I can`t.
So I was looking among the shelves of my bookshop today to see if we had any books about Marquez apart from his novels – biographies or literary criticism (I know we have Love in the Time of Cholera, The Autumn of the Patriarch which I am reading – or trying to – and until yesterday One Hundred Years of Solitude). Well I didn`t find either of those two types of books but just while looking I came across Kafu* the Scribbler: The Life and Writings of Nagai Kafu, 1879-1959 by Edward Seidensticker (a well known translator of Japanese novels). Oh joy!! I had vaguely heard of Kafu but was surprised to find him though if Shushako Endo is in store, why not Kafu eh?. A new literary discovery, as I mentioned in my haiku, is always great. One of the other books I have found in this shop Diary of a mad old man by Junichiro Tanizaki was slightly wierd in that it was about the diarist`s obsession with his daughter in law, more than a bit on the hentai side of things. I`m going to swap it for another book from the shop (the joys of working in a bookstore, I might swap it for this Kafu one if it is interesting enough to keep) because though Tanizaki is said to be one of Japan`s most acclaimed writers I`ll have to hold my opinion of him until I read another of his works. Maybe his other works are acclaimed but I wasn`t impressed by this one. Otherwise, my Japanese literary finds have been successful. I also came across Silence by Shusako Endo (and another of his books) which I wrote about in the last post.
* The u in Kafu would have a line over it like the spanish tilde, as is correctly typeset on the book but not here cos my tilde shortcut won`t work!!