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Articles tagged "Ghosts"

The Ghosts are Schrödinger Cats

It was one of those evenings when the world was coming off its hinges, and once again, who knows why, someone decided to be unwise enough to care for it so that it wouldn’t. I stood in the armory next to small, deeply embedded Gothic windows and, looking through the lead, mullioned glass (which looked like it was made from the bottoms of bottles), tried to see what was happening outside the castle doors. As a waterfall thundered down over the gables, bringing with it pieces of slate...

The Kiso Wayfarer

You know, Karuizawa at the time was a veritable ghost town. It was autumn of Meiji 24 (1891), and the area appeared to be at the height of decline. At any rate, the once thriving post town on the Nakasendo was now utterly desolate. The land was unsuited to farming, and it was hardly possible even to make a living any more—indeed, many people had moved elsewhere. Father and I alighted from the train at Yokogawa, and took the stagecoach along the old road over the Usui Pass, rattling...

Compos Mentis

When I first met Mr. Masaomi Chikamatsu in the town of Y, I must say he was not exactly friendly toward me. True, I was just a writer on the lookout for a story. I interview many people in the course of my work, and find the level of respect accorded me inevitably depends on the subject's image of a writer—and as you may imagine, older people generally tend to be more respectful than the young. Yet they all, without exception, wear an expression of distaste, as if gazing upon...

Waiting in the Offing

"Itoyama's sharp eye and sly wit set her apart from other Japanese women writers. Her writing style is intellectually controlled, and often glows with wisdom."--Kenzaburo Oe "My hiccups won't stop." Makihara Futoshi was standing in his stocking feet just inside the door with a woebegone look on his face. When I stop to think about it, that somewhat troubled expression quite suited him. It hadn't been my intention to go to Gotanda. After all, I live in Saitama City and...

from The Other Man

For the Welsh original, please click here. Davies, Anna, and Daniel have been as close as three people can be. But now Davies is dead in a car crash, and the two that are left must "take on the case": Davies' life, their own lives, and the whole of their shared past. Who, and what, was Davies? Did they know him at all? And why is he still, even now, hiding from them? In this extract, from chapter 7, Daniel recounts a story told to him by Davies. Through the details and ambiguities...

Passage of Eden

The old man was standing cautiously behind the table on which he displayed the treasures of the passage's bookshop: used English paperbacks, bound photocopies, ancient and incomplete collections of newspapers. He might have been seventy, maybe more. Above his balding head dangled a sign that said "Au Singe Vert, passage de l'Eden." I opened books at random, leafing through the pages without reading, careful not to tear the brittle paper. "Do you have a map of Saigon, I mean from...

from Liaozhai Zhiyi

These stories are taken from a work-in-progress entitled Heart's Reason: Stories of Affection from the Liaozhai Zhiyi, edited and translated by Susan Wan Dolling. Liaozhai Zhiyi--literally, "Strange (Historical) Stories from a Studio for Leisurely Conversations"--is a posthumous collection of five hundred-odd entries that the author Pu Song-ling made into little books called juan and circulated among his scholar friends during the last thirty or so years of his relatively long life...

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