The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu

The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu

Augusto Higa Oshiro

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Reminiscent of Kurasawa’s film Ikiru, Enlightenment explores the interior mindscape of a Japanese-Peruvian man and his luminous unraveling

Katzuo Nakamatsu is having a recurring dream. He’s strolling down the glinting avenues of Lima, branches crowning overhead, when he hears someone snickering from the shadows. He wanders away in concentric circles, as if along a spider web, and wakes in a sweaty torment. Nakamatsu sleepwalks his way toward sublime disintegration.
 
Katzuo is at sea after being forced out of his job as a literature professor without warning. He retreats into flânerie, musing with imaginary interlocuters, roaming the streets, and reciting the poems of Martín Adán. Slowly, to the “steady beat of his reptilian feet,” Nakamatsu begins to arrange his muted ceremony of farewell. He conjures his smiling wife Keiko and wonders how he lost his Japanese community with her death. With a certain electric lunacy, he spruces himself up with a pinstripe tie, tortoiseshell glasses, and wooden cane, taking on the costume of a man he knew as a child, hoping to grasp that man’s tenacious Japanese identity.
 
Like a logic puzzle, Enlightenment calibrates Augusto Higa Oshiro’s own entangled identity. From this dark and deadly estrangement, a piercing question emerges: “Why did our hides, our Japanese eyes, our bodily humors, provoke suspicion and rejection?”

Product details

ISBN-13: 9781953861528

Number of pages: 150

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: Archipelago

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