December 2, 2023 | Rome, Italy

The Box Man

By |2018-03-21T18:28:00+01:00April 1st, 2007|Recent Reviews|

By Kobe Abe, translated from the Japanese by E. Dale Saunders

Vintage International, 1974 (2001). 178 pages.

Passion,” writes Abe, “is the urge to burn oneself out.” Or to retreat. Abe’s box man has withdrawn from the world (he wanders supernaturally through Tokyo) but the withdrawal itself carries with it a precision lens. The box man is the affirmation of negation itself. Kafka’s influence on Japan is incalculable, particularly in postwar (and post-Hiroshima) literature. In order to see, Abe proposes, you cannot be seen.

And the box began to walk…

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