by Lafcadio Hearn
Paperback: October 2020
Hardback: October 2015 (300)
Cover image by Takato Yamamoto
Introduction by Anne-Sylvie Homassel
Length: xiv + 272
Insect Literature is available in paperback.
Our limited edition hardback of 300 copies is sold out.
Read a blog post on the making of Insect Literature.
"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.
"Of Insects and Children" by Anne-Sylvie Homassel
"Forward" by Masanobu Otani
IV. "Story of a Fly"
X. "Some Poems about Insects"
XI. "Insects and Greek Poetry"
XII. "Some French Poetry about Insects"
XIII. "Insect Politics"
XIV. "Under the Electric Light"
XV. "——! ——!! Mosquitoes!!!"
XVI. "The Festive"
XVII. "The Jewel Insect"
XVIII. "Dr. Hava’s Tarantula"
XX. "The Dream of Akinosuké"
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.
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