Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

How can one justify Shsaku End being called a novelist of reconciliation?

At what point in End’s work does he begin to believe that it may be possible for Christianity to take root in Japan?

How does the technique of transposition work in Wonderful Fool and The Girl I Left Behind?

Why does End think that the Japanese are more likely to accept a Jesus who is a mother figure rather than a father figure?

In addition to that of East and West, what are some other contrasts that are thematically important in End’s work?


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Beverly, Elizabeth. “A Silence That Is Not Hollow.” Commonweal 116 (September 22, 1989): 491-494. Claims that End’s writing is inspired by two elemental aspects of his identity: the Japanese culture and Catholicism; argues that End’s embrace of both has often made his life difficult and perilous, but that the labor of fiction has made it bearable.

Cavanaugh, William T. “The God of Silence: Shsaku End’s Reading of the Passion.” Commonweal 125 (March 13, 1998): 10-12. Argues that End‘s work can be seen as a profound exploration of the twisted logic of the Incarnation—the trajectory of God from heaven to earthly flesh and the assumption of weakness by omnipotence; asserts that End weaves together the spiritual anguish of his characters with an embattled and paradoxically orthodox theology.

Gallagher, Michael. “For These the Least of My Brethren: The Concern of End Shsaku.” Journal of the Association of Japanese Teachers 27 (April, 1993). Discusses End’s relationship to religion.

Gessel, Van C., trans. Introduction to Stained-Glass Elegies: Stories by Shsaku End. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984. An explanation of End’s talents and position as a writer in Japan and the West plus a brief but comprehensive rundown on each of the stories translated in the volume: dates of composition, sources or occasions inspiring the stories, and analyses of their themes.

Gessel, Van C. “The Voice of the Doppelgänger.” Japan Quarterly, no. 38 (1991): 198-213. Gessel examines four postwar Japanese novelists, including End, and notes how the postwar fiction differs from the prewar tradition of the “I story,” in which author and persona are one. He selects End’s...

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