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Exotics and Retrospectives

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By: (1850-1904)

Exotics and Retrospectives by Lafcadio Hearn is a collection of essays and stories that transport the reader to a world of mesmerizing beauty and profound insight. Hearn's exquisite prose and deep understanding of the cultures he writes about make this book a captivating read.

The first part of the book, "Exotics," delves into Hearn's experiences living in Japan and his fascination with Japanese culture. Through his vivid descriptions and keen observations, Hearn provides a unique glimpse into the customs, myths, and traditions of Japan, offering readers a deeper understanding of this enigmatic country.

In the second part, "Retrospectives," Hearn reflects on his time living in various countries, exploring themes of memory, nostalgia, and the passage of time. His introspective musings are both poignant and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to contemplate their own connections to the past and the meaning of memory.

Overall, Exotics and Retrospectives is a beautifully written collection that showcases Hearn's talent as a storyteller and his deep appreciation for the world around him. Whether describing the natural beauty of Japan or contemplating the mysteries of the human experience, Hearn's writing is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.

Book Description:
Lafcadio Hearn, born 1850 in Greece, went to Japan when he was 40 years old and became a Japanese citizen only 6 years later. His writings about Japan from the beginning of the Meiji era, when the country was just opening to the West, remain among the most important explanations of Japanese culture.
This book contains in the first part, "Exotics", his observations of and personal insights into Japan. For example, Fuji no Yama tells about him climbing the highest mountain in Japan; and A Question in the Zen Texts, Literature of the Dead, and Of Moon Desire try to explain Buddhist teachings. In the second part, "Retrospectives", Hearn leaves both Japan and his vantage point as impartial observer behind and delves into personal experiences and musings that occurred to him in the numerous countries he visited. The main topic of these very personal pieces is beauty in all its forms.

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