Sunday, March 24, 2013
"Strange Tale of Pamorama Island" by Edogawa Rampo
A pulpy version of Raymond Roussel's "Impressions of Africa." Rampo is the Japanese link between a boy's adventure narrative and kinky sex takes. Rampo's take on the benefits of the Panaorama and the Utopian narrative. Also a crime novel of sorts. A man takes on the identity of his rich dead brother and builds his perfect world on an island. Including nude mermaids/women, scented air, beautiful plants, and stunning landscapes. Probably the most anti-natural nature novel of all time. It's up there with Huysman's "Against Nature." The book makes interesting commentary on the nature of one's artistic vision over a specific landscape. But with Rampo (as usual) its a twisted and dark vision of what life can be made - and the sexual undertones are never far from the surface. A brilliant book. And for some reason, the translation of Rampo's name is spelled Ranpo. So, if you are in a bookstore, look up both spellings.