The Key

ilbonito blog 2007

Fifty Shades of Grey is out at the movies soon – I have yet to see it (or read the book) but I somehow doubt it has much on Junichiro Tanizaki’s “The Key”, written back in the 1950s. The famously perverse Japanese author’s novel is about a man and a wife engaged in an icy pyschological battle under their banal veneer of domestic normality. Their weapons? Their diaries, detailing their sexual fantasies and true thoughts about their partners. The husband one day “misplaces” the key to the locked cabinet in which his diary is kept, thus opening a particularly seedy – but utterly compelling – Pandora’s box. A fascinating book about the weirdness of human nature, and particularly fascinating as a snapshot of an era so often presented as squeaky clean.

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