Translation Works
The 2nd Selected Works
The Sting of Death
The Sting of Death
(Shi no toge)
FRENCH / Elisabeth Suetsugu published
Originally Published by:
Shinchosha (1977)
  • This is the original work behind the movie The Sting of Death, which won the Grand Prix du Jury at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival
Her husband's unfaithfulness brought her tranquil world crashing down around her and drove her over the edge
This is a novel about the perilous relationship between Toshio and his wife Miho, who suffers from neurasthenia. Miho, who is industrious by nature, has always worked hard to create a pleasant home for her husband and two children. So, when she learns about her husband's unfaithfulness, it drives her over the edge and she becomes prone to repeated nervous breakdowns.
She goes on a monomaniacal rampage, attacking her husband repeatedly, going around exposing his past. Toshio is left apologizing frantically and begging for forgiveness. The children are caught in the battle raging between husband and wife and are terrified, but try as hard as they can to make peace between their parents.
Toshio, who is a writer, loses his ability to write and starts to show signs of a mental breakdown, until one day, he finally understands the full magnitude of the sin he has committed against his wife. He is then no longer able to think of himself, but tries to devote his life to saving his wife's soul instead.
This work, which uses the real names of the author and his wife, was first published as a series of short stories in different literary magazines between 1960 and 1976. Then, in 1977, the twelve chapters were combined and published as a single volume.
The title of the work is taken from the biblical saying, "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." (First Epistle to the Corinthians, 15:16).
GENRE: Literary Fiction
2018 International Translation Forum on Contemporary Japanese LiteratureJLPP Translation Workshop 2018