Lafcadio Hearn Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

ph_0111207192-Hearn.jpg Lafcadio Hearn Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Lafcadio Hearn’s travel sketches include Two Years in the French West Indies, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, and In Ghostly Japan (1899). He is also remembered for his more comprehensive assessments of Japan. His numerous other nonfiction works and his long fictions have been less influential.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

The author of more than sixty books (if one includes posthumous collections and translations), Lafcadio Hearn was one of the most successful travel writers in history, known during his lifetime as Japan’s principal interpreter to the Occident.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bisland, Elizabeth. The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906. An authorized biography.

Cott, Jonathan. Wandering Ghost: The Odyssey of Lafcadio Hearn. New York: Knopf, 1990. Particularly valuable for literary analysis.

Dawson, Carl. Lafcadio Hearn and the Vision of Japan. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. This book’s strength is in its examination of Hearn’s European background.

Gale, Robert L. A Lafcadio Hearn Companion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. An encyclopedia devoted to Hearn. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Hasegawa, Yoji. A Walk in Kumamoto: The Life and Times of Setsu Koizumi, Lafcadio Hearn’s Japanese Wife: Including a New Translation of Her Memoir “Reminiscences.” Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 1997. As informant and translator, Setsu provided Hearn with many of sources for his tale adaptations. Her reminiscences of her husband thus contain valuable accounts of his short-story production.

Hirakawa, Sukehiro, ed. Rediscovering Lafcadio Hearn: Japanese Legends Life and Culture. Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 1997. Although quite miscellaneous, this important collection includes treatment of Hearn’s short fictions, such as the influence on one of them by Charles Baudelaire.

Hughes, George. “Lafcadio Hearn: Between Britain and Japan.” Poetica, no. 44 (l995). Analyzes Hearn’s role as East-West cultural mediator.

Metzinger, Sylvia Verdun. “Lafcadio Hearn: The Japanese Years.” AB Bookman’s Weekly, September 17, 1990. A concise sketch of Hearn’s life in general and his last years in Japan in particular.

Murray, Paul. A Fantastic Journey: The Life and Literature of Lafcadio Hearn. Folkestone, Kent: Japan Library, 1993. Like a number of the new works on Hearn, this one emphasizes the Irish influences on Hearn.

Ronan, Sean G., ed. Irish Writing on Lafcadio Hearn and Japan: Writer Journalist and Teacher. Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 1997. A former Irish ambassador to Japan, Ronan assembles tributes.

Stevenson, Elizabeth. The Grass Lark: A Study of Lafcadio Hearn. New ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 1999. An authoritative biography.

Yu, Beongcheon. An Ape of Gods: The Art and Thought of Lafcadio Hearn. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964. It assesses the degree to which Hearn managed to intuit a universal “philosophy” based on a combination of European and Japanese attitudes.