He was upstairs in a bookstore.
Twenty years old at the time, he had climbed a ladder set against a bookcase and was searching for the newly-arrived Western books: Maupassant, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Ibsen, Shaw, Tolstoy…
This is the opening paragraph of a short story called The Life Of A Stupid Man by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
This paragraph hooked me into the work of the father of the Japanese short story because of the author’s vulnerability.
His short stories offer several mental health and creative insights: