Kōbō Abe: 他人の顔 (The Face of Another)

The latest addition to my website is Kōbō Abe‘s 他人の顔 (The Face of Another). Our hero, a plastics engineer, is badly injured in an industrial accident, leaving his face badly scarred. People – even his wife – are repelled by him. He decides to develop a plastic mask and considers wearing the mask while accosting or even assaulting his wife. What makes the novel are his complex studies on the topic – people’s reaction to him without and with the mask, what masks mean in our society, does the mask have a personality of its own and how it has changed him. Another superb novel from Abe.

Leave a comment