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Book cover of A Fantastic Journey

A Fantastic Journey

by Paul Murray

Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781873410233

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Overview of A Fantastic Journey

Lafcadio Hearn's life was a fantastic journey that took him from conception outside of marriage on a Greek island to a protected upbringing in Ireland; from a Gothic education in England to Cincinnati, where as Paddy Hearn, he established himself as a journalist of the macabre par excellence. Moving on to New Orleans in the 1860s he transformed himself into Lafcadio Hearn, litterateur and a man of the South. Then after two years in the West Indies, he finally reached Japan in the spring of 1890 where he spent the last fourteen years of his life and did the work for which he is now known.

Although it was to always be an ambiguous relationship with his adopted country, Hearn gave to the world some of the most valuable and enduring insights into Japan which have ever appeared and which continue to stand the test of time. Through his many articles and several books, he remains one of the foremost interpreters of Japan to the West.

In Paul Murray, Hearn is provided with not just with an informed and able biographer, but with one whose experiences parallel his subject's quite closely and thus give him an exceptional understanding of the extraordinary lives that Hearn lived. Murray is an Irishman, a diplomat who has served both in North America and especially in Japan. He thus uniquely brings out the Irishness of Hearn and the nature of his life: a transient observer rather than rooted participant. "Hearn carried the burden of the Wandering Irishman to the furthest extremes, dropping and picking up identities as a long distance trucker does loads."

This engaging work tells a story of great intrinsic interest. It has much for those intrigued by the lifeand culture of Japan and also for the many students of the Anglo-Irish literary tradition.

". . . a book that goes beyond scholarly diligence and careful research across three continents to become also a humane and oddly hopeful story for our times." --Catholic Herald

Synopsis of A Fantastic Journey

Ireland, the United States, Japan--journalist, litterateur, interpreter of Japan--an extraordinary life.

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