TanizakiTony Malone at The Quarterly Conversation:

Asking who Jun’ichirō Tanizaki is may seem a little bizarre, especially to those with any kind of interest in Japanese literature. Nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and even shortlisted the year before his death, Tanizaki is one of the more prominent figures in modern Japanese literature, and he is also well-known for his other endeavors, such as his translation of The Tale of Genji from old Japanese into the modern language.

But on a more personal level, the question is not quite as strange as it might initially appear. Readers often develop an image of a writer while working through their books, and many of the top Japanese authors seem easily classifiable, from the eccentric Kōbō Abe to the calm, traditionalist aesthete Yasunari Kawabata, the political protests of Kenzaburō Ōe, and, more vivid than most, Yukio Mishima’s unique blend of homoerotic and right-wing tendencies. But who exactly is Tanizaki?

To get a clearer picture of a writer, we can, of course look to his body of work, or at least those books that are available in translation. Major works like The Makioka Sisters, Some Prefer Nettles, Naomi, and Quicksand show a writer with a fascination for certain themes, including cultural differences between the Japanese regions and the sometimes-fraught relationships between the sexes.

more here.