Abe, Kobo


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Abe, Kobo

(kō`bō ä`bā), pseud. of

Kimifusa Abe,

1924–93, Japanese novelist and dramatist. Although Abe trained as a doctor, he never practiced medicine. Often compared to KafkaKafka, Franz
, 1883–1924, German-language novelist, b. Prague. Along with Joyce, Kafka is perhaps the most influential of 20th-century writers. From a middle-class Jewish family from Bohemia, he spent most of his life in Prague.
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, he treated the contemporary human predicament in a realistic yet symbolic style. His minute descriptions of surrealistic situations often lend his works a nightmarish quality. Among Abe's novels are Woman in the Dunes (1962; tr. and film 1964), his best-known work, and Secret Rendezvous (tr. 1979). His plays include Friends (1967; tr. 1969). The first of his short stories to appear in English were collected in Beyond the Curve (1944–66; tr. 1991).