A Fool's Life

A Fool's Life

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa Ryohei Tanaka / May 29, 2020

A Fool s Life Translated by Will PetersenIllustrations by Tanaka Ryohei Ryunosuke x x etchings from Mushinsha print collection

  • Title: A Fool's Life
  • Author: Ryūnosuke Akutagawa Ryohei Tanaka
  • ISBN: 9780670323500
  • Page: 244
  • Format: None
  • Translated by Will PetersenIllustrations by Tanaka Ryohei Ryunosuke10 1 2 x 7 1 2 x 3 4 12 etchings from Mushinsha print collection.

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      Posted by:Ryūnosuke Akutagawa Ryohei Tanaka
      Published :2019-08-09T19:49:05+00:00

    About "Ryūnosuke Akutagawa Ryohei Tanaka"

      • Ryūnosuke Akutagawa Ryohei Tanaka

        Akutagawa Ry nosuke 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, and partly because of film director Kurosawa Akira s masterful adaptation of two of his short stories for the screen.Akutagawa was born in the Ky bashi district Tokyo as the eldest son of a dairy operator named Shinbara Toshiz and his wife Fuku He was named Ry nosuke Dragon Offshoot because he was born in the Year of the Dragon, in the Month of the Dragon, on the Day of the Dragon, and at the Hour of the Dragon 8 a.m Seven months after Akutagawa s birth, his mother went insane and he was adopted by her older brother, taking the Akutagawa family name Despite the shadow this experience cast over Akutagawa s life, he benefited from the traditional literary atmosphere of his uncle s home, located in what had been the downtown section of Edo.At school Akutagawa was an outstanding student, excelling in the Chinese classics He entered the First High School in 1910, striking up relationships with such classmates as Kikuchi Kan, Kume Masao, Yamamoto Y z , and Tsuchiya Bunmei Immersing himself in Western literature, he increasingly came to look for meaning in art rather than in life In 1913, he entered Tokyo Imperial University, majoring in English literature The next year, Akutagawa and his former high school friends revived the journal Shinshich New Currents of Thought , publishing translations of William Butler Yeats and Anatole France along with original works of their own Akutagawa published the story Rash mon in the magazine Teikoku bungaku Imperial Literature in 1915 The story, which went largely unnoticed, grew out of the egoism Akutagawa confronted after experiencing disappointment in love The same year, Akutagawa started going to the meetings held every Thursday at the house of Natsume S seki, and thereafter considered himself S seki s disciple.The lapsed Shinshich was revived yet again in 1916, and S seki lavished praise on Akutagawa s story Hana The Nose when it appeared in the first issue of that magazine After graduating from Tokyo University, Akutagawa earned a reputation as a highly skilled stylist whose stories reinterpreted classical works and historical incidents from a distinctly modern standpoint His overriding themes became the ugliness of human egoism and the value of art, themes that received expression in a number of brilliant, tightly organized short stories conventionally categorized as Edo mono stories set in the Edo period , ch mono stories set in the Heian period , Kirishitan mono stories dealing with premodern Christians in Japan , and kaika mono stories of the early Meiji period The Edo mono include Gesaku zanmai A Life Devoted to Gesaku, 1917 and Kareno sh Gleanings from a Withered Field, 1918 the ch mono are perhaps best represented by Jigoku hen Hell Screen, 1918 the Kirishitan mono include Hok nin no shi The Death of a Christian, 1918 , and kaika mono include But kai The Ball, 1920.Akutagawa married Tsukamoto Fumiko in 1918 and the following year left his post as English instructor at the naval academy in Yokosuka, becoming an employee of the Mainichi Shinbun This period was a productive one, as has already been noted, and the success of stories like Mikan Mandarin Oranges, 1919 and Aki Autumn, 1920 prompted him to turn his attention increasingly to modern materials This, along with the introspection occasioned by growing health and nervous problems, resulted in a series of autobiographically based stories known as Yasukichi mono, after the name of the main character Works such as Daid ji Shinsuke no hansei The Early Life of


    434 Comments

    1. Someone please read this and tell me what it means: "He was upstairs in a bookstore. Twenty years old at the time, he had climbed a ladder set against a bookcase and was searching for newly-arrived Western books: Maupassant, Baudelaire, Strinberg, Ibsen, Shaw, TolstoyThe sun threatened to set before long, but he went on reading book spines with undiminished intensity. Lined up before him was the fin de siècle itself. Nietzsche, Verlaine, the Goncourt brothers, Dostoyevsky, Hauptmann, FlaubertHe [...]


    2. First I have a question: why are people rating this so highly and talking effusively of how brilliant this is.While the first story is mildly amusing the rest is unreadable. The title story is broken down into 51 miserable bites there is no coherent plot and why would one find his constant moaning of wanting to die thrilling.In conclusion this book will leave the reader wanting, there is no fulfilment here only emptiness a sense having read NOTHING.


    3. "Ah, what is the life of a human being, a drop of dew, a flesh of lightning? This is so sad, so sad. What can I say?"This Little Black Classic included three stories of the Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, who lived in the 19th and 20th century. He's regarded to as the father of Japanese short story and Japan's most prestigious literary award is also named after him!The first fictional story retells a murder scenario solely through the eyes of the witnesses and participants, which was a ver [...]


    4. "Ah, what is the life of a human being — a drop of dew, a flash of lightning? This is so sad, so sad."@monica_readsThe Life of a Stupid Man was my very first read of Penguin Little Black Classic. This book contents 3 short stories:1. In a Bamboo Grove2. Death Register3. The Life of a Stupid ManI think 2 of them are like autobiography of the author but it's written uniquely. In The Life of a Stupid Man part, it's just like the snippets of 51 short stories.At first it was pretty hard for me to u [...]


    5. Terminado “Vida de un loco. Tres relatos” por Ryunosuke AkutagawaLo primero que me encontré con este libro fue con el “biombo del infierno”, el cual pasé de largo ya que ya lo leí la semana pasada en “Roshomon y otros cuentos”, luego me vi sumergida en un ambiente denso de “Los engranajes” me costó leerlo sinceramente, no estaba preparada para verme en un ambiente de depresión mezclado con un comienzo de esquizofrenia, donde las alucinaciones visuales y otros fantasmas comie [...]


    6. On of the three little Penguin books I bought in Tokyo for the plane trip back home. Here are 3 small selections of the works by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, the king of the Japanese decadent writers, as well as the famous prize given out every year to a contemporary Japanese writer. Oddly enough, I never read his works, but I knew of him as the iconic writer of his time. Strongly influenced by the French writers and poets of the 19tth century (he was born in 1892 and died in 1927), there are traces of [...]



    7. It is difficult to say that such book is understandable or not, factual or fictional. Either way it is reasonable to believe that this kind of writing was written and published by a desperate man who suffered enough in his life and had depressing thoughts about life in general. The first story is a little bit disturbing. It describes an incident of a man who was murdered and tortured before his wife which acted in a strange way. Somehow, I liked this excerpt "When I kill a man, I do it with my s [...]



    8. Reading Ryunosuke Akutagawa, I can imagine myself alone squatted in a comfortable pillow overlooking a zen garden, sipping green tea. This Penguin Black Classic collection contains his popular short story, In A Grove, and two authobiography sketches, Death Register, and The Life of a Stupid Man. In all of them, Mr. Akutagawa's writing style is introspective and melancholic. There is horrifying calm and indifference to life, especially in his autobiographical sketches. It is a pleasure to reread [...]


    9. I really enjoyed the first half. Until he wanted to die and kind of went mad. I can relate a lot to his life though. The more I read, the more I realised that Haruki Murakami's style is something like this. I think Haruki himself admitted it that his novels do have some influence of Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Not that it's a bad thing."Middle school was a nightmare for him, but it was not necessarily a misfortune. At least it enabled him to develop a personality that could endure loneliness. Otherwise [...]


    10. Akutagawa, auteur van het beroemde Rashōmon, pleegde zoals verschillende Japanse auteurs en verschillende van mijn favoriete auteurs zelfmoord. Dood en zelfmoord zijn dan ook niet toevallig thema's in zijn kortverhalen. In deze bundeling bestaande uit 'In a Bamboo Grove', 'Death Register' en 'The Life of a Stupid Man' handelt het ook over moord, zelfmoord, waanzin, eer, moraal, de waarde van het leven Wat ik zelf fantastisch vind aan de verhalen van Akutagawa is de manier waarop hij met korte f [...]


    11. I fell in love with the 80 little black Penguin Classics as soon as they came out and had to choose at least one to purchase so I took it as an opportunity to broaden my horizons and read something different.Ryūnosuke Akutagawa was a Japanese author who lived from 1892 to 1927 and this selection of stories was taken from Jay Rubin’s 2006 translation of Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories.I am really glad that I read this despite it being out of my comfort zone. This tiny collection consists [...]


    12. Ryunosuke Akutagawa is sceptic about living, but too curious to let himself die. His younger self, brought by the infecting minds of 19th century philosophers, grew up with a hollow in his soul, on which brim genetic madness and paranoia creep for all his life.This semi-autobiography, "The Life of a Stupid Man", showcased the transformation. His adolescence, marked by hatred towards the smell of dead bodies intertwined with attraction to the concept of murder, grew into a manhood with an interes [...]


    13. I should have been more impressed, or, I suppose, moved by these little autobiographical snippets then I was. They were intriguing, indeed, but they had a dull quality that was difficult to ignore in order to enjoy them. The first, what, fictional short story? (sometimes it's hard to tell with these since there is no introduction of explanation) was rather confusing though it showed the wonderfulness of man's inability to remember the truth.Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy


    14. I loved the first two stories, but I wasn't such a fan of the last one. 'In the Bamboo Grove' was especially nice, because it was a story about a murder and it was told by so many different people that I'm not quite sure who the real murderer is.



    15. This 'little story' is as dark as his life. Who would write an autobiography and title it 'The life of a stupid man'? History tells us he eventually committed suicide. Sad. Really. Sad.




    16. Seriously sick and seriously enchanting. Akugatawa uses his senses very well, and you feel you are there with them. He invents (or maybe Japanese language has them) some similes that you simply cannot imagine. He broadned my horizon as an aspiring writer.Some quotes and expressions that caught my eye: When I kill a man, I do it with my sword, but people like you don't use swords. You gentlemen kill with your money, and sometimes just with your words: you tell people you're doing them a favor. Ro [...]


    17. I found this collection absolutely stunning. Some of these fragments of life will definitely stay with me for a long time.



    18. Me gustó mucho el libro. Desde la introducción al epílogo. Hallé los cuentos muy perturbadores, al grado de que acabé de leerlo en la madrugada y me levante, toda nerviosa, porque no podía conciliar el sueño. Akutagawa habla de sus alucinaciones, de su miedo de haber heredado la demencia materna, de sus inseguridades como autor, de su familia. La idea de la muerte (su muerte) y de los demonios está rondando siempre. Muestra su manía por encontrarle doble significado a ciertos eventos o [...]


    19. A difficult one to rate so I will talk a bit more about all of the three stories separately:1. In a Bambo grove - 4.5 starsReally enjoyed this one. We get short testimonies of everyone who was connected to a murder. These people include the murderer, the victim, eye witnesses and the person that found the body. At the end though we still don't know exactly what happened since everyone tells the story differently and elements change. I would have liked to know which one was real since I was tryin [...]


    20. "თეთრად გადაპენტილი ალიბლები მის თვალებში გასაშრობად გამოკიდებულ ძონძებსა ჰგავდა, მაგრამ ამ ალუბლებმა, მუკუძიმას ძველთაძველმა ალუბლებმა, ბოლო დროს მას შეაცნობინა თავისი თავი.""ქორწინებ [...]


    21. Lindo libro que comienza con una historia de terror como es el biombo del infierno que cuenta la historia de un pintor en la corte al que le mandan hacer una obra de arte nunca antes vista como es retratar el infierno mismo , la forma en que lo realiza es bastante pertubadora a tal grado que envolverá a su hija para el pincelazo final ,luego de esto culmina con una historia autobiográfica del autor sobre sus problemas psicológicos y con el final de una carta a su amigo antes de su suicidio , [...]


    22. Read for the challenge of: "Read a biography, autobiography or memoir."While I was reading The Life of a Stupid Man, I wasn't sure if I was loving it or hating it completely. I'm not saying I'm insane or I'm going to commit suicide or something, but I found Akutagawa relatable. His thoughts were so interesting to read (some of them weren't, obviously.) The writing was straightforward in a way that complemented the book. Because it wasn't the writing styles that was supposed to convey his thought [...]


    23. Akutagawa hardly needs an introduction. The Life of a Stupid Man is a collection of three short stories, one is the classic "In a bamboo grove" and the other two autobiographical. This little book borrows its title from the last story, The Life of a Stupid Man, Akutagawa's stark and depressing reflection on his own life.For the fraction of a cost of a coffee you get a little book that you'll re-read with pleasure time and again.


    24. Slim collection of three short stories. Two of them seem to be memoirs of the author (I don't know whether it is real or fictionalized) while one of them is the story version of the movie 'Rashomon'. Loved that story - it is called 'In the Bamboo Grove'. Also loved the title story - not really for the story but for the many beautiful passages it had. A nice book to read in a cafe while you have having a coffee and sandwich.


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