A suspenseful early novella about obsession, voyeurism, and Tokyo’s seedy criminal underworld
One morning, Takahashi, a writer who has just stayed up all night working, is interrupted by a phone call from his old friend Sonomura: barely able to contain his excitement, Sonomura claims that he has cracked a secret cryptographic code based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold-Bug and now knows exactly when and where a murder will take place―and they must hurry if they want to witness the murder, because it’s later that very night! Sonomura has a history of lunacy and playing the amateur detective, so Takahashi is of course reluctant to believe him. Nevertheless, they stake out the secret location, and through tiny peepholes in the knotted wood, become voyeurs at the scene of a shocking crime…
Atmospheric, erotic, and tense, Devils in Daylight is an early work by the master storyteller who “created a lifelong series of ingenious variations on a dominant theme: the power of love to energize and destroy” (Chicago Tribune).
“Tanizaki laminates a murder mystery and psychological study onto a rumination about the nature of fiction itself.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The outstanding Japanese novelist of this century.” (Edmund White)
“Tanizaki was a great writer. He understood the fetish-making fecundity of love, and the satisfactions it offers even while giving pain, and its perverse, inverse accountings.” (John Updike)
“Tanizaki is one of my favorites. His books are about love and very often perverse aspects of love.” (Henry Miller)
About the Author
Author of The Makioka Sisters, In Praise of Shadows, and A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, Junichiro Tanizaki (1886–1965) is arguably the greatest Japanese writer of the twentieth century.
J. Keith Vincent is professor of Japanese and comparative literature at Boston University, and his translation of Okamoto Kanoko’s A Riot of Goldfish won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.