3 Japanese Novels: Kagi (The Key), by Junichiro Tanizaki

A couple have felt the eroticism leave their marriage. Each of them decides to experiment sexually and record their experiences in a diary. Both leave their diaries for the other to find, but neither ever reads the other's.

The wife drinks herself into a stupor. The husband secretly photographs his sleeping, naked wife, then has his son-in-law develop the pictures. The son-in-law seduces the wife, who eagerly responds, eventually giving herself to him completely.

The book is well-written, Freudian, but in the end quite cold. It reminded me a bit of Die Traumnovelle, the novella on which Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut was based. Anyway, maybe cultural and/or generational barriers are in the way here, but I didn't feel the erotic tension that I assume should be there.

Posted by cronopio at 11:56 PM, December 17, 2003