21 October 2021
Diary of a Mad Old Man
Junichiro Tanizaki


I think crying is shameful for a man; yet in fact I am easily moved to tears-they come at the merest trifle. That is something I have always tried to conceal. Ever since I was young I have enjoyed playing the villain; I am constantly saying spiteful things to my wife, for instance, but as soon as she begins sniffling I lose my nerve. And so I have done my best to keep her from knowing my weakness. In other words, even though I am sentimental and given to tears--as virtuous as that may sound--my true nature is perverse and cold hearted in the extreme. That is the kind of man I am; and still when an innocent child suddenly shows me such affection I can't keep my glasses dry. [117]