Like an elegantly chilling postscript to The Metamorphosis , this classic of postwar Japanese literature describes a bizarre physical transformation that exposes the duplicities of an entire world. The narrator is a scientist hideously deformed in a laboratory accident–a man who has lost his face and, with it, his connection to other people. Even his wife is now repulsed by him.
His only entry back into the world is to create a mask so perfect as to be undetectable. But soon he finds that such a mask is more than a disguise: it is an alternate self–a self that is capable of anything. A remorseless meditation on nature, identity and the social contract, The Face of Another is an intellectual horror story of the highest order.
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The Japanese novelist Kobo Abe has often been compared to Kafka and this 1966 novel suggests an elegantly chilling postscript to The Metamorphosis. Abe's narrator is a scientist who has been hideously deformed in a laboratory accident, a man who has lost his face in a society where "losing face" is a synonym for humiliation. Alienated from his fellows, sexually rejected by his wife, the injured man painstakingly sets out to create a mask so perfect as to be undetectable. Yet once he achieves his goal, he realizes that he has not fashioned a disguise, but an alternate self -- a self that is capable of anything. The Face of Another is an intellectual horror story of the highest order.Review:
"A fascinating book.... The world of Kobo Abe is one in which intellectual concepts have the emotional impact and motivating power of psychotic compulsions."-"Newsweek" "A major novel... Since The Woman in the Dunes, Kobo Abe's stock as a novelist has been very high. The Face of Another raises it still more."-"The Christian Science Monitor ""Probes the edges of a waking nightmare....The central, shaping metaphor of face and facelessness is brilliant, and Abe's relentless pursuit of its every implication is powerful."-"The Saturday Review"
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Book Description Penguin, Harmondswoth. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dj. Paperback. 110 X 180MM - 4.5 x 7 Inches. Light rubbing, creasing to spine, may have owner's name IFC - - -. Bookseller Inventory # 0020348
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002071027
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR003610017