Love is a Game
The story of a jaded sensualist seeking ever-stronger stimuli in an attempt to reignite his flagging zest for life, ‘The Secret’ appeared in Tanizaki’s first collection of short stories in 1911. It thus dates from his ‘diabolist’ period when he was heavily influenced by the decadent aestheticism of late-nineteenth-century Western literature. Luxuriant, elaborate language with meticulous descriptions of everything from the labyrinthine Tokyo streetscape to fine silk kimonos; exotic themes like transvestitism and sexual gamesmanship; a pervasive tone of mischievous, waggish charm—whether in term of style, content or attitude, ‘The Secret’ is a perfect microcosm of Tanizaki’s eccentric but beguiling universe.
The audio is read by Ken Yoshizawa. Since the first part of the story mostly consists of elaborate descriptions, one good approach might be to start by listening from Paragraph 32 on page 280 (22:13 in the recording), which is where the action really gets going.