A Bunch of Keys

PDF EBook by Mutsuo Takahashi

EBook Description

Mutsuo Takahashi (高 download; 橋 睦郎) is one of the most prominent and prolific male poets, essayists, and writers of contemporary Japan, with more than three dozen collections of poetry, several works of prose, dozens books of essays, and several major literary prizes to his name. A Bunch of Keys PDF EBook He is especially well known for his open writing about male homoeroticism. He currently lives in the seaside town of Zushi, several kilometers south of Yokohama, Japan.

Translations of five of Takahashi’s poems by Jeffrey Angles.

The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) Blog

After a bout of tuberculosis, Takahashi graduated from the Fukuoka University of Education, and in 1962 moved to Tokyo. For many years, he worked at an advertising company, but in the meantime, he wrote a good deal of poetry. His first book to receive national attention was Rose Tree, Fake Lovers (薔薇の木・にせの恋人たち, Bara no ki, nise no koibito- PDFtachi?), an anthology published in 1964 that describes male-male erotic love in bold and direct language. A laudatory review from the critic Jun Etō appeared in the daily newspaper Asahi shimbun with Takahashi’s photograph—an unusual instance of a poet’s photograph included in the paper’s survey of literature.

About the same time, Takahashi sent the collection to the novelist Yukio Mishima who contacted him and offered to use his name to help promote Takahashi’s work. The two shared a close relationship and friendship that lasted until Mishima’s suicide in 1970. Other close friends Takahashi made about this time include Tatsuhiko Shibusawa who translated the Marquis de Sade into Japanese, the surreal poet Chimako Tada who shared Takahashi's interest in classical Greece, the poet Shigeo Washisu who was also interested in the classics and the existential ramifications of homoeroticism. With the latter two writers, Takahashi cooperated to create the literary journal The Symposium (饗宴, Kyōen?) named after Plato’s famous dialogue. This interest in eroticism and existentialism, in turn, is a reflection of a larger existential trend in the literature and culture of Japan during the 1960s and 1970s.

Homoeroticism remained an important them in his poetry written in free verse through the 1970s, including the long poem Ode (頌, Homeuta?), which the publisher Winston Leyland has called “the great gay poem of the 20th century.”Many of these early works have been translated into English by Hiroaki Sato and reprinted in the collection Partings at Dawn: An Anthology of Japanese Gay Literature.

About the same time, Takahashi started writing prose. In 1970, he published Twelve Views from the Distance about his early life and the novella The Sacred Promontory (聖なる岬, Sei naru misaki?) about his own erotic awakening. In 1972, he wrote A Legend of a Holy Place (聖所伝説, Seisho densetsu?), a surrealistic novella inspired by his own experiences during a forty-day trip to New York City in which Donald Richie led him through the gay, underground spots of the city.
In 1974, he released Zen’s Pilgrimage of Virtue (善の遍歴, Zen no henreki?), a homoerotic and often extremely humorous reworking of a legend of Sudhana found in the Buddhist classic Avatamsaka Sutra. Like this book? Read online this: World Literature/ Anthology Of Short Stories, Poetry, And Drama Teachers Manual, The Brady Bunch Files.

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