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Darkness in Summer
Darkness in Summer
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Darkness in Summer

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Darkness in Summer

Takeshi Kaiko 

1973 1st Edition. Hardcover. 

Darkness in Summer is the first work of a major new Japanese writer to be translated into English--Kaiko is ranked by Japanese critics, with Kobo Abé, as one of the country's two most important novelists of the generation since Mishima.  It is, as well, the first serious work of Japanese fiction to focus on the Japanese experience in the West. 

A man and a woman--separated for ten years--meet again, traveling together in Germany.  They had been lovers long ago, in Tokyo; now, incapable of love, they are brought together again by sexual desire and by their mutual desperation.  No new passion, but their old obsession, may give them back the key to their lives, release them from their terrors, their rootlessness.  The woman is a scholar who has come to hate the Japan that allowed her no seriousness, forcing her to pursue a career in the West; the man is a novelist-reporter, lethargic, an uncommitted observer of other people's wars, sunk into detachment by his professional familiarity with tragedy and chaos.  They need each other . . . and yet cannot fulfill each other's needs. 

They savor their world together with urgency, stunning their senses with sex, with food and drink, with all the sights and sounds of city streets and country landscapes as they move restlessly from place to place, fighting to escape the fear of ultimate disintegration, finally parting again, to survive separately as best they may. 

Hauntingly, curiously tender, and very much of today, Darkness in Summer introduces American readers to a brilliant contemporary novelist--to a new kind of Japanese literary sensibility and concern.