Masha Tupitsyn

  • In Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s stories, the subjectivity of perception is often dramatized. His principal subjects—the gap between society and self; the conflict between tradition and modernity, religion and enlightenment—are transformed via various renderings. Mandarins, his latest collection, features fifteen tales, including three new English translations. In the title story, a man’s spell of apathy and ennui is momentarily broken when he witnesses the young peasant woman he’s been observing on a train throwing mandarins, “the color of the warm sun” and a symbol of Japanese daily life and hope,