Exotics and Retrospectives cover

Exotics and Retrospectives

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

1. Foreword
2. EXOTICS: I Fuji-No-Yama
3. II Insect Musicians
4. III A Question in the Zen Texts
5. IV The Literature of the Dead, Part 1
6. IV The Literature of the Dead, Part 2
7. V Frogs
8. VI Of Moon-Desire
9. RETROSPECTIVES: VII First Impressions
10. VIII Beauty is Memory
11. IX Sadness in Beauty
12. X Parfum de Jeunesse
13. XI Azure Psychology
14. XII A Serenade
15. XIII A Red Sunset
16. XIV Frisson
17. XV Vespertina Cognitio
18. XVI The Eternal Haunter

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Summary

Lafcadio Hearn, born 1850 in Greece, went to Japan when he was 40 years old and became a Japanese citizen only 6 years later. His writings about Japan from the beginning of the Meiji era, when the country was just opening to the West, remain among the most important explanations of Japanese culture. This book contains in the first part, "Exotics", his observations of and personal insights into Japan. For example, Fuji no Yama tells about him climbing the highest mountain in Japan; and A Question in the Zen Texts, Literature of the Dead, and Of Moon Desire try to explain Buddhist teachings. In the second part, "Retrospectives", Hearn leaves both Japan and his vantage point as impartial observer behind and delves into personal experiences and musings that occurred to him in the numerous countries he visited. The main topic of these very personal pieces is beauty in all its forms.