Imagine a tone poem in prose. "The Wonder of Things" is an evocation of a particular time, place, and mood. Through his narrator, the author describes the development of an intimate friendship between two students at Kyoto University in mid 1960s Japan. The narrator's memories preserve physical and psychological landscapes from his childhood. He revisits his discoveries of wonders in art and nature. Most importantly, he memorializes the special qualities of the person and personality of his friend. For non-Japanese readers, this is perhaps the most accessible of the author's Japan stories, its themes of lust, love, and sorrow being universal.
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