8 journalers for this copy...
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.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Bookrelay to OpheliaPhillips in England.
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.
French-girl - Holland
Cross-patch - England
Joanthro - USA
Gnissorckoob - USA
KatieLindsay - USA
Cocobarks - USA
Megi53 - USA
Off to Cross-patch!
13 Feb. In the post today. I hope you enjoy it, Joanne
Thanks for making this little gem available OpheliaPhillips and perryfran!
Mailed to Gnissorckoob earlier today.
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.
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.
Thanks so much for making me last so I could read it at leisure, OpheliaPhillips. Hope it has lots of good nature scenes!
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.