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Rashomon and Other Stories (1915)

af Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

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1,3662013,475 (3.86)114
Writing at the beginning of the twentieth century, Ryunosuke Akutagawa created disturbing stories out of Japan's cultural upheaval. Whether his fictions are set centuries past or close to the present, Akutagawa was a modernist, writing in polished, superbly nuanced prose subtly exposing human needs and flaws. "In a Grove," which was the basis for Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon, tells the chilling story of the killing of a samurai through the testimony of witnesses, including the spirit of the murdered man. The fable-like "Yam Gruel" is an account of desire and humiliation, but one in which the reader's sympathy is thoroughly unsettled. And in "The Martyr," a beloved orphan raised by Jesuit priests is exiled when he refuses to admit that he made a local girl pregnant. He regains their love and respect only at the price of his life. All six tales in the collection show Akutagawa as a master storyteller and an exciting voice of modern Japanese literature.… (mere)
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Engelsk (14)  Spansk (3)  Catalansk (1)  Portugisisk (Brasilien) (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (20)
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El autor es probablemente el más conocido y admirado del Japón del siglo XX. En este libro se recogen sus mejores cuentos, cargados de la magia de Oriente y cerca de la mejor tradición literaria occidental.
  Natt90 | Jul 12, 2022 |
Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa is a small collection of short stories that have been translated into English. This version was an inexpensive copy for the Kindle so there were a few problems with the set up and editing but I was still very impressed with this author’s writing. Rashomon, is probably best known as a film by the well-known Japanese director Kurosawa. I believe the film is actually a combination of the first two stories in the book.

All six stories in this collection were interesting but I particularly liked the first four. The opening story, The Grove was a fascinating murder story that was exposed through conflicting eyewitness accounts. This was followed by Rashomon which is a dark story that raises questions about violence, power and desperation. I then enjoyed Yam Gruel which was based on an old Japanese myth. This story seemed to be an example of being careful what you wish for. This was a slightly funny, slightly melancholy story of a lowly samurai who dreams of someday having a feast of yam gruel. I found The Martyr, a story about an orphan boy who lived by the words of Jesus and suffered like him both strange and tragic. The twist at the end of the story makes it rather unforgettable. I wasn’t quite as taken by the other two stories, “Kesa and Morito” about an extra-marital affair and finally “The Dragon” which sees a practical joke go awry

Over all this was an insightful collection from a master storyteller and, it was well worth reading these absorbing and thought-provoking tales. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 13, 2021 |
I read the book that had 6 short stories in it and read it book in 1 day because it was so interesting, granted it is a short book.
Each story was interesting with each story having a moral to the story. I particularly enjoyed the story Martyr which was about a young boy accused of having intercourse with a young woman and impregnating her. The moral is to love and forgive, even when people do wrong by you.
I highly recommend this book - 4.5 stars ( )
  withlightandlove | Feb 6, 2020 |
The eerie mood set in the title story Rashomon stood out most writing wise, reread the story twice for that alone.
One story, consisting of monologues of Kesa and Morito, grated on me for how rape was handled back in the day, and if all the other stories are worth rereading, I'd skip this one, were I ever to return to the collection.

Akutagawa doesn't hold the readers hand and doesn't say what to think of the events in the stories. All are ambiguous one way or the other.
Quite a refreshing read. ( )
1 stem Moonika | Mar 4, 2019 |
I needed a couple of books by Japanese authors for book bingo, and as much as I love Mishima, I also know how long it takes me to make it through one of his books, so I picked up this slim copy of short stories a while ago.

Once I started reading it, it felt so intensely familiar, I wondered if I'd read it before. After a while I decided that it was only familiar from the movie Rashomon, which is based off of the first story in this collection, "In a Grove."

These stories are short, but searing. They are stories of murder and suffering and feeling caught -- like you have no choice but to do this thing that is wrong and will also make you terribly unhappy. No fluffy foxes here. More shame. But they are not heavy with darkness, but calculated.

Left me chewing on how society shapes identity, and how our perceptions shape reality. ( )
1 stem greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Akutagawa, Ryūnosukeprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hibbett, HowardIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kojima, TakashiOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kojima, TakashiForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kuwata, MasakazuIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Scholten, JackOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Shimizu, OsamuIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Yes, Sir. Certainly, it was I who found the body.
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Do not combine with "Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories" - this work contains fewer stories
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Writing at the beginning of the twentieth century, Ryunosuke Akutagawa created disturbing stories out of Japan's cultural upheaval. Whether his fictions are set centuries past or close to the present, Akutagawa was a modernist, writing in polished, superbly nuanced prose subtly exposing human needs and flaws. "In a Grove," which was the basis for Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon, tells the chilling story of the killing of a samurai through the testimony of witnesses, including the spirit of the murdered man. The fable-like "Yam Gruel" is an account of desire and humiliation, but one in which the reader's sympathy is thoroughly unsettled. And in "The Martyr," a beloved orphan raised by Jesuit priests is exiled when he refuses to admit that he made a local girl pregnant. He regains their love and respect only at the price of his life. All six tales in the collection show Akutagawa as a master storyteller and an exciting voice of modern Japanese literature.

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