Thursday, 28 January 2016

Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki

"Today she came in wearing high-heeled sandals, and kept them on while she took her shower."

This little treasure came as a complete surprise. Where I to consider it solely on the subject matter, it is unlikely I would have read it. A sickly old man with the will but not the physical capability to entertain his lascivious thoughts bears the brunt of ageing disgracefully.

His daughter-in-law, a hopeless tease, is not above profiting from her father-in-law's reduced circumstances. Weirdly this is compelling stuff. Perhaps it is a credit also to the translator for delivering such beautiful prose.

This perhaps should not have come as such a shock to me, for it is true that I thoroughly enjoyed Tanizaki's Some Prefer Nettles as previously reviewed on this blog.

5 out of 5, the mind is willing even when the body fails.

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