The Shiga Hero
Sibley unifies Shiga's sparse, fragmented narratives by reconstructing the cyclical biography of this imaginary hero. Through an analysis of Shiga's psychoanalytic and mythopoetic approach to fiction, Sibley develops a useful model for the study of personal writers.
In recreating the life of Shiga's hero, Sibley uncovers a close link between the fictional hero and Shiga himself. Sibley finds an important part of Shiga's purpose as a writer was to "psychoanalyze" himself by projecting various personal problems onto this fictional alter ego.
Ten newly translated stories complement Sibley's analysis of Shiga's work. In this second part of the book, one encounters Shiga's hero at various stages of development: as a child facing the early loss of his mother and an uneasy relationship with his cold, distant father; as an adolescent encountering death and punishment; and as an adult searching for solace in solitary contemplation of life. Shiga renders these experiences through a highly textured prose and symbolic vocabulary. Sibley's integral text makes this major Japanese writer accessible to readers of English for the first time in a fascinating and original way.