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“The Moon Over the Mountain” by Atsushi Nakajima

The new term started with the most representative work of Atsushi Nakajima, a genius writer. What makes his writing distinctive is his expertise in Chinese classics. The protagonist (Li Chang), who is a government official, resigns to pursue his career as a poet. Never succeeding as a poet, he finds himself turning into a tiger. This story makes me think of what is required for people to be successful. Would hard work suffice? Or would talent be a must? “There was a subtle lack that kept the poems from achieving the highest quality.” This phrase of “a subtle lack” sticks in me. This hard-to-define element, something “je ne sais quoi” probably differentiates extraordinary work from fine one. “Timid pride” turns Chang into a tiger. Everybody has a beast inside them which is difficult to tame. We shouldn’t let it get the better of us. What is yours?

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