The Modern Fable
Born in 1894, Nishiwaki Junzaburo began by writing poems in English and French, his first two books being published in London. His early poems of Ambarvalia (1933), although written in Japanese, maintained a startlingly foreign air, and throughout his long life, his work was described as a "translatory," a "violation of the mother tongue. Throughout his early career, Nishiwaki continued to publish work highly influenced by Western writing as represented in The Waste Land, Ulysses, and surrealism, through these poems revolutionizing Japanese poetry.
Perhaps his greatest book, in which he creates a kind of discourse between East and West, between the ancient and the modern, and between concretism and abstraction, was Kindai no gowu (The Modern Fable) of 1953.
This new collection of poetry by the great Japanese poet contains work from six of Nishiwaki's volumes: Ambarvalia, No Traveller Returns, The Modern Fable, The Third Myth, Slumber of a Gem, and Book of Rites—work published from 1933 to 1963—revealing his work to English language readers.
Nishiwaki died in 1982.