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Once and Forever

The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Kenji Miyazawa is one of modern Japan’s most beloved writers, a great poet and a strange and marvelous spinner of tales, whose sly, humorous, enchanting, and enigmatic stories bear a certain resemblance to those of his contemporary Robert Walser. John Bester’s selection and expert translation of Miyazawa’s short fiction reflects its full range from the joyful, innocent “Wildcat and the Acorns,” to the cautionary tale “The Restaurant of Many Orders,” to “The Earthgod and the Fox,” which starts out whimsically before taking a tragic turn. Miyazawa also had a deep connection to Japanese folklore and an intense love of the natural world. In “The Wild Pear,” what seem to be two slight nature sketches succeed in encapsulating some of the cruelty and compensations of life itself.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 27, 2018 – In the transcendent stories of Miyazawa (1896 1933), Earth teems with magic and wonder. Hunters can overhear bears conversing, earthgods weep with loneliness, and animals must attend "Badger School." While ostensibly for children, these stories are suffused with a sublime melancholy that will appeal to all ages. "The Nighthawk Star" recounts how the physically ugly nighthawk, bullied by the other birds, flies high into the night sky until he becomes the nighthawk star, "still burning to this day." In "The Restaurant of Many Orders," two young hunters deep in the forest stumble upon The Restaurant Wildcat, which is far too inviting, showcasing Miyazawa's sly humor. Some tales, such as "A Stem of Lilies," in which a King dispatches his chancellor to find a stem of lilies for the king to present to Buddha as an offering, seem little more than enigmatic sketches. While most of the stories possess a timeless folktale quality, details such as General Electricity and his marching telegraph poles, or soldiers trying to blow out electric lights, situate the work in a rapidly changing Japan. While Miyazawa does not eschew the tropes of folktales his forests teem with talking animals, magic stones, and moral lessons this collection proves his poetic voice and craft transcend the genre.
Once and Forever
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Expected Release: Oct 02, 2018
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.