Sunday, May 12, 2013
"The Edogawa Rampo Reader"
I feel like i have been waiting for this book for all of my life. it has been a slow amount of time to get the Japanese writer Edogawa Rampo translated into English. One of his collections of short stories have been in print for so many years - yet waiting for another title seemed endless. Now we have at least three other books by Rampo, and I bought them all this year.
"The Edogawa Rampo Reader" is a much needed over-all look of his career. The first half of this book is short stories and the second half are essays -mostly regarding the nature of the 'detective' story. i only found one essay the most interesting and that's "The Horror Of Films" dealing with the nature and history of cinema. It's a great piece on what was then a new medium. He wrote it in 1926, and for a short essay it covers a lot of ground. Basically all to do with being the viewer.
The short stories are all in the creepy mode that I love about Rampo's work. It includes the story about a man who spends a lot of time in the attic where he spies on people down below, and also commits a murder. The long introduction by Seth Jacobowitz is pretty perfect in capturing what is so essential about Rampo, his times, and the work itself. A remarkable writer.