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The Gate (1910)
Tekijä: Natsume Soseki
Ei tämänhetkisiä Keskustelu-viestiketjuja tästä kirjasta.
Lyrical, evocative narrative following a man in total apprehension of engaging with life and those around him, so as not to upset the doldrums that he believes is all for which he can hope. ( )
Soseki is a master at taking the ordinary and transforming it into stimulating life. What's the book about? Nothing and everything. It is life distilled into the fragments and moments and essence of living. Such a masterpiece.
This is the kind of novel I would recommend only to others who enjoy reading contemporary Japanese novels. It's very slow-moving and delves deeply into a quiet husband-wife relationship throughout the entire narrative. The story begins with the couple, now in their sixties and living a meager existence in Tokyo. The husband Sosuke and the wife Oyone learn that Koroko, Sosuke's much younger brother must stop his university studies because of lack of money that their uncle frivolously lost. Koroko moves into the couple's house and upsets the delicate balance of the couple's life.
I found that I was reading this book extremely slowly so as to take in Sosuke's mood as the story was mainly from his point of view. He has a very close relationship with his wife whom he met and became friends with a situation which later became most uncomfortable. Hazy references to that time period appear late in the book but provide the impetus to read more to see if this is clarified further in the story.
Several parts of the book had special significance for Sosuke: his brother's being forced to give up his studies, his wife's illness, his landlord Saeki's friendship, and his attempt to engage in the practice of zazen (Zen medication) at a retreat. It was quite a ride to experience these with Sosuke. I thought the ending of this book was very realistic, and think I might have handled his problems the same way, had I been a Japanese man in his situation 100 years ago.
I love reading books by this author! I was sad to learn that this book is a trilogy of which I started with book 3. Now I have to go back and get books 1 and 2. That will make me happy!
Whilst not as tedious as Sanshiro or obscure as Kusamakura, The Gate still falls short of Soseki's best. At times it's a frustrating read, since the author withholds much information that would have been useful had it even been glimpsed earlier, but overall its tale of ordinary people getting by in the world is mildly affecting. It would have been better if trimmed down and shorn of its more wooly aspects (the Zen training, the ongoing but going-nowhere relationship with the cousins) or, alternatively, expanded upon to give more life to its very regular main characters.
Fairly average as a whole. Not Soseki's best but far from his worst, too.
In a word: perfection. I didn't want this book to end. Its gentle pace and documentation of the mundanity of life hides a deeper story of betrayal, frustration and disappointment. Beautiful.
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Soseki's First Trilogy (book 3)
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"A humble clerk and his loving wife scrape out a quiet existence on the margins of Tokyo. Resigned, following years of exile and misfortune, to the bitter consequences of having married without their families' consent, and unable to have children of their own, Sosuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of Sosuke's brash younger brother. While an unlikely new friendship appears to offer a way out of this bind, it also soon threatens to dredge up a past that could once again force them to flee the capital. Desperate and torn, Sosuke finally resolves to travel to a remote Zen mountain monastery to see if perhaps there, through meditation, he can find a way out of his predicament. his moving and deceptively simple story, a melancholy tale shot through with glimmers of joy, beauty, and gentle wit, is an understated masterpiece by one of Japan's greatest writers. At the end of his life, Natsume Soseki declared The Gate,originally published in 1910, to be his favorite among all his novels. This new translation captures the oblique grace of the original while correcting numerous errors and om
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)895.6Literature Literature of other languages Asian (east and south east) languages Japanese
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