By TammyWhite
2 years ago

Labyrinth of grass Review

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There are few writers able to delve into the human soul so daringly as to get lost in dark and cheating labyrinths. A look at this labyrinth scares away anyone and takes away the courage of the daring. Izumi Kyoka is one of those authors who, not only has dared to walk the labyrinth, but lives in it. You will allow me the analogy to speak of a story that, as the name suggests, is about labyrinths, about the human soul and about mysteries that surround the life of the characters. I'm talking about Grass Labyrinth (Kusa-meikyu, 1908), published in 2016 by Satori Ediciones.

Labyrinth of grass is a novel that stands out for several reasons. Its author, Izumi Kyoka, is considered one of the fathers of the Japanese Gothic novel, as well as being one of the most outstanding authors in a short story in Japan. His texts, in addition to being written in an archaic Japanese, that embellishes the narrative, are loaded with characteristic elements, such as the supernatural setting, the presence of the strange within the everyday, the contrast between light and shadow. Labyrinth of grass presents the enigmatic search of the protagonist, Akira Hagoshi, for remembering the children's song that his mother sang as a child. He is accompanied by the monk Kojiro and both will go into the forest of the city of Akiya, where they will end up in a haunted mansion known by the locals as the Black Gate. In this place, Akira believes that he can find the answer to his obsessive search.


Akira works as Izumi Kyoka's alter ego. His motivation seems to be to remember the lyrics of the song, but this does not stop being a metaphor for the search for the missing loved one. It is this absence of his mother (something recurrent in the stories of Kyoka), which conditions the entire novel and the characters. Akira will be involved in enigmas, labyrinths composed of feelings and the text's own narration. The context stands out for having strength and being impressive. Kyoka imbues the scenarios of their own personality, full of silent stories that few remember. These work in history as a basic element for the development of the plot, something common in the texts of Kyoka, as in On the dragon of the abyss or The saint of Mount Koya.

We could classify Kyoka as an author of terror (Gothic), but that would be too simplifying, because her narrative is full of nuances. Of course in the novel there are terrifying moments, such as the appearance of ghosts or strange and ominous places, and the feeling perpetuates that there is "something" that we can not understand but that does understand us and Akira. Izumi Kyoka is one of the best examples of how powerful and evocative Japanese literature can be, not in vain is an art that has been cultivated for centuries in this country. Kyoka's texts are more than words, the characters, the scenes, and the scenarios seem to come out of the pages, gain consistency and envelop us. Labyrinth of grass is not too demanding a reading, but it is immersive, so it will plunge the reader into a deep reading concentration. It should be noted, as a final touch, the exquisite edition of Satori, including a foreword by the translator at the beginning of the text; besides the excellent and impressive translation of Iván Díaz, who has done a huge documentation work and where the affection shown in the work is noticeable. If this month you can read only one book, it must be this one.


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Lucia5 Super
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kavinitu Wonderful
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soncee Nice
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carmen3521 Good one
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Violeta Very nice
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Bashields Great writter, i think i read some in high school, i don't remember book name now
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Ravidxb very good
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fortune Good review
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fabio26 very beautiful
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