Insect Literature Paperback – October 15, 2020 by Lafcadio Hearn


[296 Pages]

PUB:October 15, 2020


Out of stock



Author: Hearn Lafcadio

Brand: Swan River Press

Package Dimensions: 22x196x300

Number Of Pages: 296

Release Date: 15-10-2020

Details: Product Description
“The insect-world is altogether a world of goblins and fairies.” – “Sémi”

As Lafcadio Hearn observes in his essay “Insects in Greek Poetry”, “the capacity to enjoy the music of insects and all that it signifies in the great poem of nature tells very plainly of goodness of heart, aesthetic sensibility, a perfectly healthy state of mind.” And to this, one might add a keen sense of wonder.

Insect Literature collects twenty essays and stories written by Hearn, mostly in Japan, a land where insects were as appreciated as in ancient Greece. With a witty gentleness bordering on the eerie, Hearn describes in these pieces the song of the cricket, the spectral flight of dragon-flies, quotes the entomological haiku of classical Japan, and recalls Buddhist tales in which the souls of insects and men are never far one from the other.

“Reading Insect Literature was refreshing and invigorating; so many new interests were piqued, so many theories were sparked. Almost every page holds some titbit of insect life or insect symbolism that I had either overlooked or never come across.” – Elske Rahill, Dublin Inquirer

“[Insect Literature] is gorgeous little illustrated hardcover reprinting twenty essays by the Irish-Greek writer who made his name in Japan, where he lived and died. An introductory essay by Anne-Sylvie Homassel is included. It’s definitely a wonderful book to dip into.” – Ellen Datlow, Best Horror of the Year

“Something for everyone would seem to have been the guiding principle in putting this collection together and it works splendidly well, both as a showcase for Hearn’s writing and by offering us an insight into little known aspects of Japanese culture.” – Peter Tennant, Black Static

“For Hearn, the lifelong quest for ‘other-worldliness’ that ultimately led him to Japan was exactly the same impulse that drew him to the world of insects . . . . The other great star of this sumptuous book, apart from Hearn himself, has to be its publisher, Swan River Press, which with meticulous care has created a beautiful edition replete with original illustrations and superb cover design.” – Damian Flanagan, Japan Times

“With this remarkably unusual work, Hearn sheds light on the strange universe of insects as well as their connections to the spectral world in the Japanese tradition; by merging myth, philosophy, poetry, and popular fancy, he has created a bewitching mixture of the elaborate and the bizarre.” – Maria Giakaniki, Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies

“This beautifully produced book – a credit to the pains taken by its publisher – offers a pathway into one of the nineteenth century’s most absorbing and rewarding writers . . . It is indicative of Hearn’s genius that he can endow the seeming smallness of things with universal meaning.” – Paul Murray, The Green Book

“L’altra grande star di questo libro e la casa editrice, Swan River Press, che on cura meticolosa ha creato una splendida edizione completa di illustrazioni originali e di una memorabile copertina.” – Internazionale

About the Author
Born on the Greek island of Lefkada, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was brought up in both Ireland and England. At nineteen he emigrated to the United States where he became a journalist. After a sojourn in the French West Indies, he sailed for Japan in 1890. Hearn wrote extensively about his new homeland, its tales, customs, and religions, acting as a bridge between Japan and the Western world. He died in Tokyo where he is buried under his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo. His notable books include Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894), In Ghostly Japan (1899), Shadowings (1900), and Kwaidan (1904).

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