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Some Prefer Nettles (1929)

por Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

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1,0722419,365 (3.63)94
Junichiro Tanizaki's Some Prefer Nettles is an exquisitely nuanced exploration of the allure of ancient Japanese tradition--and the profound disquiet that accompanied its passing. nbsp; It is the 1920s in Tokyo, and Kaname and his wife Misako are trapped in a parody of a progressive Western marriage. No longer attracted to one another, they have long since stopped sleeping together and Kaname has sanctioned his wife's liaisons with another man. But at the heart of their arrangement lies a sadness that impels Kaname to take refuge in the past, in the serene rituals of the classical puppet theater--and in a growing fixation with his father-in-law's mistress. Some Prefer Nettles is an ethereally suggestive, psychologically complex exploration of the crisis every culture faces as it hurtles headfirst into modernity.… (mais)
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Inglês (22)  Francês (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todas as línguas (24)
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I continue to marvel at the range of Tanizaki’s work; some of it I have loved, some of it I thought just a little too strange. This falls pretty much in the middle for me. The title, in a roundabout way, is the translator’s paraphrase of the American saying “to each his own”; in other words, everyone is entitled to his own taste (or preference). The book, which is often said to be among Tanizaki’s best works, takes place in Japan in the late 1920s and focuses on the conflict between traditional and modern (or Westernized) culture in Japan. Tanizaki uses a variety of oppositions to illustrate this conflict, sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely. Ambiguity is omnipresent. Thus, he sets the customs and reputations of some cities against those of other cities, traditional (Japanese) arts against Western(ized) ones; customary modes of behavior and dress against modern ways; and so forth. The setting is a disintegrating marriage which the wife—with her husband’s knowledge and approval (an indication of his embrace of Western behavior, he believes)—has taken a lover and the husband has become increasingly attached to his father-in-law’s young mistress and even with his father-in-law’s devotion to traditional Japanese culture. Both husband and wife are too weak-willed, despite their unhappiness, to take any definite steps toward divorce, or even to tell their son anything. The subject and Tanizaki’s way of telling the story strikes me as exceptionally Japanese, much more so than other works of his that I have read. I can’t particularly say that I enjoyed it but I can readily understand why it is well-regarded. ( )
  Gypsy_Boy | Apr 13, 2024 |
Per gli smarriti le illusioni dei tre mondi (apparente, senziente, spirituale)

Per gl'illuminati la consapevolezza che tutto e' vano

In origine non v'era ne' Est ne' Ovest

Dove sta il Nord e il Sud? (p. 132) ( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
Marital oddness in late 20’s Japan. Kaname and Misako no longer love each other, but they don’t hate each other either. After 10 years and one kid, all the emotion has leached out of their relationship, leaving an inanimate husk, a replica marriage like the puppets Misako’s father likes to watch. He has a wife 30 years his junior and treats her like a puppet/doll, but she’s no such thing, unlike the preternaturally passive Kaname. Misako’s involved with someone else, but all she and Kaname really care about is how to get divorced with a minimum of upset to their son, her dad, and society in general.

The centerpiece of the novel is a fascinating rural puppet show attended, but largely ignored, by all the village, kids playing and peeing while the dwarf-sized, stringless puppets act out their classical tragedies and romances. I loved the final scene too, and the ending (as in The Makioka Sisters) is striking. Similar East-West themes here, too, but the couple’s predicament ultimately seems absurd. ( )
  yarb | Jun 27, 2022 |
A gentle mist dense with metaphors, this story is perfect for dissection in a high school essay. The characters in this unconventional divorce story are not really characters. Instead they are themselves puppets playing out the conflict within Tanizaki, of his growing resistance to newly-introduced western influences and his simultaneous burgeoning appreciation of Japanese aesthetics and traditions.

The (translated) prose and story are dreamy and detached, yet loaded with subtext. The story is so deeply rooted in Japanese culture that I'm certain that a lot of the deeper cultural context (beyond what was described in the book) flew over my head (such as the stereotypes of Osakans vs people from Kyoto or Tokyo although I did get a thrill out of getting the simpler references such as the one to the Mitsukoshi lions!) Overall I enjoyed the melancholy aesthetics of it all and the struggle between modernity and tradition. ( )
  kitzyl | Jan 20, 2020 |
Some prefer nettles is one of the best-known of Tanizaki's pre-war works. Kaname and Misako feel that their marriage has run its course - Misako is having an affair, Kaname visits "western" brothels - but they can't quite make themselves take the decision to divorce. They both cultivate a westernised, "Tokyo" attitude to life, and are mildly amused by the way Misako's widowed father is immersing himself and his compliant young mistress, O-Hisa in every kind of tradition. But Kaname is captivated, despite himself, when his father-in-law invites them to an Osaka puppet theatre, to the extent that he later goes with him and O-Hisa to an even more authentic (and uncomfortable) performance on Awaji island.

Witty, complicated, and very engaging, even if the unresolved ending is a bit frustrating for anyone used to the way well-plotted western novels work. It would be fun to read this side-by-side with Evelyn Waugh's A handful of dust, written at about the same time and with a very similar plot situation, and a parallel sort of tug-of-war between the modern and the traditional, but resolved in quite a different way. ( )
  thorold | Apr 25, 2018 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (10 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Jun'ichirō Tanizakiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Coutinho, M.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gall, JohnDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, R. KikuoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kivimies, YrjöTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Seidensticker, Edward G.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Seidensticker, Edward G.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Every worm to his taste;
some prefer to eat nettles.

- Japanese proverb
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"You think you might go, then?" Misako asked several times during the morning.
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Junichiro Tanizaki's Some Prefer Nettles is an exquisitely nuanced exploration of the allure of ancient Japanese tradition--and the profound disquiet that accompanied its passing. nbsp; It is the 1920s in Tokyo, and Kaname and his wife Misako are trapped in a parody of a progressive Western marriage. No longer attracted to one another, they have long since stopped sleeping together and Kaname has sanctioned his wife's liaisons with another man. But at the heart of their arrangement lies a sadness that impels Kaname to take refuge in the past, in the serene rituals of the classical puppet theater--and in a growing fixation with his father-in-law's mistress. Some Prefer Nettles is an ethereally suggestive, psychologically complex exploration of the crisis every culture faces as it hurtles headfirst into modernity.

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