Francis Mathy (essay date 1974)
SOURCE: "A Golden Ten" and "The Achievement of Shiga Naoya," in Shiga Naoya, Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1974, pp. 105-36; 165-75.
[In the following excepts from his book-length study of Shiga, Mathy analyzes eight of the author's most famous short stories and summarizes how his work differs from Western standards of great literature.]
Shiga was hampered by a literary theory that inhibited the writing of fiction, but he could, when he wished, turn out a well-made story with an exemplary unity of structure. The unifying principle might be plot or character or even atmosphere or mood, but every element, every separate part of the story, was tailored to create this unity. In...
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