Embed Instagram Post Code Generator

Friday, August 11, 2006

Yumiko Kurahashi's The Woman With The Flying Head and Other Stories

This message is an urgent one, to alert you of something you, and the world, needs to know about:

A writer of great importance and originality, as yet more or less unknown -

Yumiko Kurahashi 倉橋 由美子.

Yumiko Kurahashi 倉橋 由美子

I didn't like being watched by it. I tried in vain to persuage myself that it wouldn't matter, that it was something like a doll. The problem was the eyeballs. The cheap artificial eyes L had stuck in its face were looking at me. Those eyes made its face look like that of a virginal angel. Still, they were fake. I poked them out with my cruel fingers. In their place appeared two black holes, from which the scent of nothingness rose like a dark flame. The angel's face was transformed into that of a devil - my own face. I kissed it on its opened lips. It was no secular kiss, with teeth clicking, the tongue penetrating, and saliva flowing back and forth. I was directly kissing the nothingness that was about to draw me in. I extended my tongue and let it swim freely in the other world. I realized that somehow his penis was in my hands, and mine in his, and that we had been making love like two men. Then, we made love like a man and woman. A piece of cellophane tape had been applied to its vagina - the part of its body that came from Aphrodite. L must have done that.

This is from a story in which a brother and sister use a mindless, hermaphroditic alien as a sex toy. The alien itself is hollow and filled with the universe, and at the end, to escape an arranged marriage, the brother and sister climb into its vagina, to freedom in the reaches of cosmic space.

This was written forty years ago.

The next story is about a foursome between a human couple and their cats, told from the cats' perspective. The psychodynamics of this are impossible to describe; it has to be read. Then there's the story about 'The Woman With the Flying Head"...

Kurahashi's writing seems to exist in some other dimension, one I want to inhabit. If you don't understand the genius of any of this yet, you're not qualified to read this blog. In fact I want everyone reading this to immediately order her shit now, right here.

You heard it here first.

The thing you want to note is the shitty quality of this book. Look at that godawful font and generic cover art. It looks amateurish and not worth your time. The really sad thing is, Kurahashi deserves A+ publishing design, and a huge audience. When I master Japanese (give me a few more years yet - still intermediate at the moment) I will translate all of her shit and hopefully convince someone to publish it with better production. (even A-list writers like Akutagawa [who has about 150 short stories, maybe 10 of which are currently in print in English] are next to impossible to find or out of print)