The Garden of Life

A beautiful bit of self-analysis from Japanese author Yasushi Inoue, reflecting on a lifetime's worth of writing:

Forty years have flowed by since then without my seeing them go, fifty novels of varying lengths, a hundred and eighty novellas...When I consider the work I have done, I feel a little like I am gazing out at a garden gone to seed. Amaryllises poking up in random places, roses whose appearance leaves much to be desired. The flowers blooming there belong to the most diverse species, large and small, transplanted from the desert and the Himalayas. Weeds are encroaching everywhere. Yes, it is an untended garden. Each time I look upon this landscape, it seems somewhat different. Sometimes, when the sun is shining, I find it filled with clarity. Other days it is sunk in shadow, hushed and gloomy. No matter how it appears to me, thought, this untamed garden is me. No one else but me, all there is to me.

Excerpt taken from Bullfight, published by Pushkin Press in 2013