Friday, October 16, 2015

Paperback 910: The Key / Junichiro Tanizaki (Signet D2073)

Paperback 910: Signet D2073 (1st ptg, 1962)

Title: The Key
Author: Junichiro Tanizaki
Cover artist: [gah, can anyone make out that signature underneath the noodle bowl?!]

Estimated value: $8-12

Best things about this cover:
  • Font Victory! That title is smashing.
  • In case you could tell the people on the cover are Japanese ... chopsticks!
  • This painting is beautiful yet boring. It really really wants you to believe that the hardcore marital boning inside is tasteful.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "It leaves one both roused and afraid." Uh ... TMI, "The Reporter."
  • Mid-century was a big time for arguing that books about Doing It could be "art." Like, you had to justify it because of stupid hypocritical censorious America. Note the critical armature on this book's covers. Some kind of Chatterley-related hold-over. "If critics like it, then it's OK to jerk off to."
  • Love the author photo. "Just take the fucking picture. You weary me."

Page 123~

All through March I'd written that I was still stubbornly defending the "last line," and I did my best to convince him of it. In fact, it was on March twenty-fifth that I surrendered that last "paper-thin" defense.

It seems like she is talking about "anal sex" but I "can't be sure."


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Jean said...


Yasunari Kawabata said...

Great prognisticating N.Y Herald Tribune!

DemetriosX said...

Seriously, the best thing about this cover is the author photo. He is so tired of everybody's shit, it's incredible.

@Yasunari Kawabata: In fairness to the Herald Tribune, he did get nominated 6 times in 7 years (1958-64, missing only 59). And in that period, he lost to Pasternak, Steinbeck, and Sartre. Not too shabby.

Anonymous said...

The artist's signature looks kinda like Stanley Zuckerberg.

Anonymous said...

Also -- I love that the two models who posed for the artist are clearly white folks. The dude in particular looks about as Japanese as Sean Connery in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

Thomas said...

Sorry, no it's Zuckerberg