(From the publisher):
What distinguishes this wonderful new collection—a novella (the title story) and two shorter pieces—is its lightheartedness, its comic realism. All three stories, however, are variations on a favorite theme: dominance and submission in private relationships. The "man" in the title piece is a typical Tanizaki hero—spoiled, self-indulgent, and obstinately ineffectual—caught up in a war between his vindictive former wife and her willful young successor, both rivals of the fourth party in the title: Lily—seductive, elegant, and magnificently in control—a tortoiseshell cat. The struggle among these three female characters for possession of this feckless man, and his bumbling attempts to assert himself, make for a series of richly entertaining confrontations.
This is followed by "The Little Kingdom," which describes the curiously shifting relationship between a hard-pressed schoolteacher and a small but indomitable pupil determined to establish his own rule. And the collection ends with "Professor Rado," a sly portrait of a self-important academic, seen from the point of view of a journalist eager to "get a story." In a series of interviews, the professor responds to questions merely with grunts; but by accident the journalist ultimately discovers a scandalous hidden side to this eminently respectable gentleman—one so comically grotesque that it could only have come from Tanizaki's well-known store of erotic curiosities.
Original title: A Cat, a Man, and Two Women
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction
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