A malnourished subaltern, confined for years in a tiny subterranean capsule, emerges from the bowels of a vertiginous twenty-ninth-century tower city into sunlight to apotheose into a new form of sentient being. A wealthy young aesthete sinks his vast fortune into a sprawling metatheater of myriad gardens, lavish architectural works, and costumed tableaux and orgies, ultimately sacrificing himself for his work in a decadent “golden death.” A bizarre island society dominated by the compulsive cultivation and study of vegetables serves as a satirical foil to the absurd contradictions and excesses of consumerist society in 1920s imperial Japan.

Three-Dimensional Reading: Stories of Time and Space in Japanese Modernist Fiction, 1911–1932, edited by Angela Yiu, is an important and refreshingly original curation of textual artifacts produced by Japanese writers during a particularly voluptuous and intriguing period in the history of modernizing twentieth-century Japan. The anthology is dedicated to modernist work that...

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