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.

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