Natsume Soseki, Kusamakura Natsume Soseki might soon be a new favourite of mine. This is a book I read after reading Praj’s wonderful review. Kusamakura. KUSAMAKURA by Natsume Soseki, translated by Meredith McKinney. Penguin Classics, , pp., £ (paper) In this early work (also. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Kusamakura by Natsume Sōseki.
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The story is told in the first person. The main character is a nameless thirty-year old artist, a poet and a painter, who set on a journey to the mountains in search of Beauty and the true meaning of art. He stays at a hot spring resort where he is the only guest.
One moonlit night he hears soeski woman singing in the garden. This mysterious beauty, called Nami, captures his imagination, but not in a romantic but in an artistic way.
The plot is simple and the story is not a dynamic one full of events and exciting adventures.
Instead, Soseki fills the pages with essay-like meditations on art and nature as the narrator tries to explain to us and himself what is means to be an artist and the bliss of being in the state of inspiration.
Contemplation gives birth to moments of inspiration, and throughout the novel the narrator composes haiku poems and dreams of painting a perfect painting; not on canvas but in his imagination because he thinks being an artist is a state of mind rather than a skill or an occupation.
To put it simply, if you like the narrator and his world views, you will enjoy the novel as well. The book invites the reader to stillness and sweet contemplation of beauties around you.
In fact, the phenomenal world has always contained that scintillating radiance that artists find there. Inextricable entanglements bind us to everyday success and failure and by ardent hopes — and so we pass by unheeding, until a Turner reveals for us in his paintings the splendour of the steam train, or an Okyo gives us the beauty of the ghost. John Everett Millais, Ophelia, The abbot was asking about it, guessing you must have gone off for a walk again. This joke is uncomfortably close to the bone for mere feminine banter, and I glance quickly at her face.
She looks disconcertingly determined. She rises smoothly to her feet. Three paces take her across to the door where she turns and beams at me. I just sit there, lost in astonishment. Also interesting, in one chapter the narrator is reading a Western book, but not from the first to the last page, but dipping in here and there, not following the plot but relishing in beauty of the words, and Nami finds it strange, but insists that he reads it to her out loud.
On the other hand, wherever I choose to dip in is interesting for me. Talking to you is interesting too. That would make it even more interesting. A world where falling in love requires marrying is a world where novels require reading from beginning to end.
The Three-Cornered World
And now the quotes because, at least for kusmaakura, sometimes the quote make me eager to read the book more than the plot:. Demanding your own way only serves to constrain you. However you look at it, the human world is not an easy sosdki to live.
And when its difficulties intensify, you find yourself longing to leave that world and dwell in some easier one — and then, when you understand at last that difficulties will dog you wherever you may live, this is when poetry and art are born.
At the sight of the mustard blossoms too, the heart simply dances with delight. Likewise with dandelions, or cherry blossoms. The poet has an obligation to dissect his own corpse and reveal the symptoms of its illness to the world.
The reputation we grasp at, the glory that we seize, is surely like the honey that the cunning bee will seem sweetly to brew kjsamakura to leave his sting within it as he flies.
What we call pleasure in fact contains all suffering because it arises from attachment. Only thanks to the existence of the poet and the painter are we able to imbibe the essence of this dualistic world, to taste the purity of its very bones and marrow.
The artist feasts on mists, he sips the dew, appraising this hue and assessing that, and he does not lament the moment of death. The delight of artists lies not in attachment to objects but sosfki taking the object into the self, becoming one with it.
Once he has become the object, no space can be found on this vast earth of ours where he might stand firmly as himself.
Kusamakura by Natsume Soseki | : Books
kusaakura He has cast off the dust of the sullied self and kusamakufa a traveller clad in tattered robes, drinking down the infinities of pure mountain winds. Very interesting read, and pleasant notions to contemplate. That first Goyo painting kusamakuga my socks off. I started wondering if the Japanese more so of the past, as when this painting was created, or before see this sort of image that same way I do.
Is it exaggeratedly stylized to them? There are not shadows! And yet in its economy it manages to say so much about reality, because rather than being naturalistic which tells us much more about the appearance of thingsit tells us about the arena of interpretation.
Western culture could not have produced such an image, though NOW we have somewhat similar works involving line art. Like Liked by 1 person.
You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Kyoto, photo by maco-nonch. And now the quotes because, at least for me, sometimes the quote make me eager to read the book more than the plot: Comments 1 Comment Categories ArtLiterature. And yet in its economy it manages to say so much about reality, because rather than being naturalistic which tells us much more about the appearance of thingsit tells us about the arena of interpretation Western culture could not have produced such an image, though NOW we have somewhat similar works involving line art.
Thanks for sharing these rich and savory ideas and images. Like Liked by 1 person Reply. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.
Follow Byron’s muse on WordPress. Follow Blog via Email Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Interesting quotes… “The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain. If you see your photo here, contact me and I will remove it.
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