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Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji…
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Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa (1994)

by Kenji Miyazawa

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105None182,268 (4.05)1
The magic of Miyazawa's tales reaches out to people of all ages and lands. The sophisticated reader can sacor them as literature, while the younger reader can delight in them as imaginative stories that comment on and deepen his own experience. The underlying themes are universal, but the forms and treatment can be appreciated at many levels and vary subtly from piece to piece. The sheer storytelling skill is most evident in pieces the like the joyful, innocent "Wildcat and the Acorns," or in a classic cautionary tale like "The Restaurant of Many Orders." But even a superfically whimsical tale like "The Earthgod and the Fox" can in a short span construct a genuinely moving little tragedy. "The Last Deer Dance," a fanciful account of the origins of a well-known folk dance, works its gentle way to a climax of pure poetry. "Tokkobe Torako" makes folk superstitions the basis for a piece of amusing farce in a historical setting. And in "The Wild Pear," what seem to be two slight nature sketches succeed in encapsulating some of the cruelty and compensations of life itself... Almost every story has something fresh to offer. Yet all the different elements merge into are transcended by, an impression of embracing compassion for living creatures; of wry humor; and above all of a passionate love of nature - in particular, the four seasons of Miyazawa's native northern Japan. Clear-sighted yet never sadistic and rarely sentimental, the tales taken as a whole present a view of life that is fresh and acceptable to the modern reader. By bringing together the best of them, this book seeks to place Miyazawa firmly in the special niche he deserves in the history of Japanese and world literature.… (more)

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This collection is subtitled "The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa." (Introduction)
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