Translation Works
The 4th Selected Works
Lipstick on a Mummy and Other Stories
TITLE
Lipstick on a Mummy and Other Stories
(Miira no kuchibeni)
AUTHOR
Translator
RUSSIAN / Galina Dutkina
Originally Published by:
Bokuminsha (1914)
Origin Publishing Center(1987)
KEY POINTS
  • A ground-breaking female writer's major works that have been repeatedly revaluated after WWII.
  • Nine short stories which describe a self-portrait of a woman who wavers between the voluptuous self and the modernized self.
SYNOPSIS
The title work, Lipstick on a Mummy, is a story of a woman who doesn't value a man's life and a man who doesn't value a woman's attachment to art. The husband, Yoshio, wouldn't buy a single book on art for his wife, Minoru. For fear that his life and pride will be hurt, he teases her about her making efforts to gain knowledge. Such an attitude of his causes growing annoyances in Minoru.
This book is a collection of 9 major short stories written by a female novelist who lived a ground-breaking life as a modern woman. The title piece describes a Chekhovian theme of conflict between an everyday-life-oriented husband and an aesthetic-life-oriented wife. The author, Toshiko Tamura, studied under a great writer Rohan Koda and published an aesthetic novel in the first issue of Seitou, an epoch-making magazine that sought for the independence and emancipation of women. She wrote a variety of self-portraits of a wavering woman with a voluptuous and modern sense of self. Her checkered fate ended in a death in a sordid town in Shanghai during WWII.
Her works show a strange vitality, and Lipstick on a Mummy, published in 1913, was one of the best selling books at the time and was repeatedly revaluated after her death. This book is newly edited with her novels, in which the distress of a woman who struggles to get freedom and improve her mentality by writing, ends up a life of deprivation, is densely described.
return
2018 International Translation Forum on Contemporary Japanese LiteratureJLPP Translation Workshop 2018