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Julian Meynell's Books

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Akutagawa's Rashomon and other tales

Rashomon and Other Stories - Ryƫnosuke Akutagawa

I do not know how to review this without assuming a knowledge of Kurosawa's Rashomon,  The collection is not one of the great works of literature, whereas Rashomon is one of the greatest movies ever made.  Rashomon is actually based on the tale In a Grove, probably the best tale in the book.  The movie takes only the location from the story Rashomon.  Akutagawa's stories have the structures and style of folktales, except when he is writing in the first person where his writing is very direct.  In al cases his writing is sparse formal and direct.


He's a pleasant writer, with a mostly grim attitude to human existence and a willingness to experiment within his sparse style.


A good writer but not a great one.