Snow Country

by Yasunari Kawabata | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingperryfranwing of Elk Grove, California USA on 9/16/2006
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Saturday, September 16, 2006
Book Description
To this haunting novel of wasted love, Kawabata brings the brushstroke suggestiveness and astonishing grasp of motive that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature. As he chronicles the affair between a wealthy dilettante and the mountain geisha who gives herself to him without illusions or regrets, one of Japan's greatest writers creates a work that is dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.

This story of a Tokyo dilettante (overused, but still best describes him), his country Geisha mistress and a mysterious young woman is considered one of the great works of Japanese nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata. The title describes the nature of the mountain setting of the story, but could also tells of the nature of the relationships involved.

It is classic Japanese in highlighting the ephemeral nature of life and relationships. In another sense, the writer calls memories of Hemingway, as the prose is minimalist. Conversation is tight, and much has to be interpreted.

Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing at Bookrelay in Bookrelay, Bookrelay -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, September 16, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (9/18/2006 UTC) at Bookrelay in Bookrelay, Bookrelay -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Bookrelay to OpheliaPhillips in England.

Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, September 23, 2006
Arrived in the post this morning - I am looking forward to this read. Thank you.

Journal Entry 4 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, September 28, 2006
I've just finish reading this book. I feel that I need to read it again because I feel that there are so many things I didn't really understand, but as I've already started a bookray for this, this particular copy will have to be on it's way.

It's the story of married with children Shimamura, of private income, and his various trips alone to a hot springs resort. He gets to know a young geisha, Komako, whilst he stays there and the two grow very close. There's this other girl, Yoko in the background, whose role I didn't completely get, but there seemed to be some friction between Komako and herself. But at the same time they were very close, because Komako was very distressed when Yoko was killed in the fire.

The descriptions of the surrounding mountainous landscape are beautiful. The feeling of winter is really strong. It reminded me of the heavy snowfalls in mid winter when I was in Sweden.

I am currently going through a bit of a Japan obsession, and reading all the books by Japanese writers, and about Japan that I can lay my hands on.

Journal Entry 5 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, September 28, 2006
List for the bookray:

French-girl - Holland
Cross-patch - England
Joanthro - USA
Gnissorckoob - USA
KatieLindsay - USA
Cocobarks - USA
Megi53 - USA

Journal Entry 6 by French-girl on Sunday, October 08, 2006
Arrived yesterday! Thank you Ophelia for sending it! I'm looking forward to reading it!!

Journal Entry 7 by French-girl on Thursday, December 28, 2006
Very poetic, the perfect read for my Christmas holidays! Thank you!
Off to Cross-patch!

Journal Entry 8 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 13, 2007
It's here. Thank you, OpheliaPhillips, for starting the ring and French-girl for posting it on to me. I will take good care of it and report back soon. Love the 'French knitting' postcard!

Journal Entry 9 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 11, 2007
Ephemeral is the word; I'm still grasping for the realities in the beautiful but lost meanderings of the mind. Sad story, sad lives .... but touching near-poetry. Is this reflective of the nature of the Japanese? I shall try another Japanese book but without any pressure to read, to allow re-analysis and greater understanding. I'm still waiting for an address from the next in line - off to send another pm.

13 Feb. In the post today. I hope you enjoy it, Joanne

Journal Entry 10 by Joanthro from Denver, Colorado USA on Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The book arrived yesterday. I am looking forward to reading this one!

Journal Entry 11 by Joanthro from Denver, Colorado USA on Monday, March 12, 2007
I had no idea what to expect from this book, and I was delighted with the read. A very powerful book for me, which seems surprising in retrospect, given its quiet and restrained prose. Shimamura often thinks about "wasted effort", his own and Komako's. At first I thought I was misunderstanding the point: Isn't the process of learning the samisen or studying the ballet a valuable process? But then I realized that he never really engages the ballet - he doesn't even see one - and Komako doesn't stay in Tokyo to learn the samisen from others and push herself to find the limits of her talents. So in that sense, they are wasting their efforts because they are both afraid of engaging their lives and passions fully.

Thanks for making this little gem available OpheliaPhillips and perryfran!

Mailed to Gnissorckoob earlier today.

Journal Entry 12 by gnissorckoob from Miami, Florida USA on Saturday, March 17, 2007
Picked up my mail today and here it is. Thanks, all. I have set aside my current read to start this.

Journal Entry 13 by gnissorckoob from Miami, Florida USA on Saturday, March 24, 2007
Just finished it. First, I want to say thanks for sharing this evocative book. Here is an example of amazing reading I might have missed if it weren't for bookcrossing.

Second, I will never look at The Milky Way the same way again.

I enjoyed the journal entries above. I think this little book is like a Rorschach. You can project your own meaning. What stands out for you will be its special message for you.

Mailed to KatieLindsay 3/26/07.

Journal Entry 14 by KatieLindsay from Morganton, North Carolina USA on Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Received and already enjoying. Thanks Gnissorckoob. I will journal again when I finish it.

Journal Entry 15 by KatieLindsay from Morganton, North Carolina USA on Monday, June 18, 2007
Sorry for the delay.

Lovely prose. It was agonizing to watch Shimamura and Komako dance around any real experience. The death in the end was so tragic. I thought the setting was haunting. The novella went a little slow for me but I think that was part of what the author was trying to convey.

The book is soon to be on its way to Cocobarks.

Journal Entry 16 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Saturday, June 23, 2007
Got it today; well-wrapped.

Thanks so much for making me last so I could read it at leisure, OpheliaPhillips. Hope it has lots of good nature scenes!

Journal Entry 17 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 19, 2008
Finished an hour ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can relate to all the previous journal entries, and this book may well have made me enter on my own obsession with Japanese literature and culture.

So many things to Google: the kotatsu (how could people stick their hands and feet into a burning charcoal brazier?), the Border Range, Chijimi linen ... the descriptions were so lovely.

The characters seemed vague foils for natural forces -- even the bundles of kaya grass and the swarms of insects!

Interesting passing references to books: Shimamura's opinion that Komako's reading journals were wasted effort; his plans to self-publish his translations from the French.

So glad I got a chance to experience this bookray -- mailing to the UK early in February.

Journal Entry 18 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Arrived today - thank you so much Megi53! This is one book I want to read again. It certainly looks a little different from when I last saw it - but there has been a fantastic job made on saving it, with the plastic covering - really sorry, I can't remember who did that, but great stuff!

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