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Ten Nights’ Dreams (夢十夜, Yume Jūya) is a classic written work from the Japanese master Natsume Soseki. Originally published in 1908, it announced the emergence in Japanese literature of a modernist and impressionistic mode. Short vignettes with fantastic, tragic, or magical events convey an exquisite sensibility compounded with stark realism. Love, honor, duty, artistry, desire, despair, and regret all shape events in the dream-world. The stories themselves suggest echoes of meanings beyond the failures of rational sense-making. Ten dreams—each unique and arresting—form a panorama of life and feeling, at once universal and intensely present.
“Our Cat’s Grave” is a brief but heartfelt monody for a feline companion. Encompassing both the affection and the neglect, it becomes a meditation on empathy and helplessness, and on the transience of life and the persistence of memory.
Translated By Sankichi Hata and Dofu Shirai. Frontispiece by Shigejiro Sano. Cover illustration by Takehisa Yumeji.
dreams, Japanese literature, fantastic
Japanese Studies | Modern Literature | Translation Studies
Soseki, Natsume, "Ten Nights' Dreams and Our Cat's Grave" (2022). Zea E-Books Collection. 119.