Books: The Obvious East

DIARY OF A MAD OLD MAN by Junichiro Tanizaki. 177 pages. Knopf. $3.95.

"When lovely women come to my home I get too excited to work," confessed lunichiro Tanizaki; "but lingering memories of them put me in finest form as a writer. Then I really write." When he died two weeks ago at 79, Author Tanizaki (The Makioka Sisters, The Key) had gathered his lingering memories into 119 novels that cele brate sexual pleasure and the divine loveliness of woman, established their author as Japan's leading contemporary novelist.

His final book, the Diary, is the journal of an impotent, wealthy old invalid who...

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