A murderer discovers his true nature from a talking infant, a samurai is frustrated in his attempts to meditate, and a dying man bestows his hat on a friend in these surrealistic short stories. The dream-like, open-ended tales by the father of Japanese modernist literature offer thought-provoking reflections on fear, death, and loneliness. Their settings range from the Meiji period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the era in which the tales were written, to the prehistoric Age of the Gods; the twelfth-century Kamakura period, in which the samurai class emerged; and the remote future.
A scholar of British literature, author Natsume S seki (1867 1916) was also a composer of haiku, kanshi, and fairy tales. The stories of Ten Nights Dreaming, which were originally published as a newspaper serial, constitute milestones of Japanese fantasy. Like S seki's other writings, they have had a profound effect on readers, writers, and filmmakers. This edition features an expert new English translation by Matt Treyvaud, who has translated the story "The Cat's Grave" for this work as well."