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The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa by Yasunari…

The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

by Yasunari Kawabata

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This was the first work of Kawabata's that I read, and though it is very different stylistically from his other work, which I went on to thoroughly enjoy, it still has left a fond impression on me. It not only showcases Kawabata's more experimental strain of work, but also preserves some of his preoccupations (with romantic relationships, men and women, etc.) that continue on into his later work. A little difficult to work through in terms of the language, it nevertheless is a satisfying read. ( )
  milkyfangs | Nov 23, 2009 |
a whir of naughty nightlife in the 20s. is this the same kawabata who gave us the sound of the mountain? barely. the genius is there, but using a modernist technique. i'm really glad kawabata abandoned modernism after this. i like him when he goes slower and takes his time.
it was like reading the new yorker without all the stuckuptitude. fashion forward. ( )
  coolsnak3 | Aug 2, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520241827, Paperback)

In the 1920s, Asakusa was to Tokyo what Montmartre had been to 1890s Paris and Times Square was to be to 1940s New York. Available in English for the first time, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata, captures the decadent allure of this entertainment district, where beggars and teenage prostitutes mixed with revue dancers and famous authors. Originally serialized in a Tokyo daily newspaper in 1929 and 1930, this vibrant novel uses unorthodox, kinetic literary techniques to reflect the raw energy of Asakusa, seen through the eyes of a wandering narrator and the cast of mostly female juvenile delinquents who show him their way of life. Markedly different from Kawabata's later work, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa shows this important writer in a new light. The annotated edition of this little-known literary gem includes the original illustrations by Ota Saburo. The annotations illuminate Tokyo society and Japanese literature, bringing this fascinating piece of Japanese modernism at last to a wide audience.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:20 -0400)

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