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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Penguin Classics,pp. They are talking about reading, about skipping pages.
Is there anything else to read? Nothing happens, nothing comes of the encounter. For two characters in a story to be questioning the role of story in a work that has none makes us suspect humor.
And indeed Soseki is one of the few humorists of Japanese literature. He lets us know this from the very beginning of his plotless saga. His hero, an aesthete who can go on for pages on poetic subjects, slips and lands on his bum.
At the same time, however, you are aware that the humor is deepening, that it is approaching irony. The ironic aspect of the work is well served by this new translation.
‘Kusamakura’: What’s the story? | The Japan Times
Soseki expresses these intentions through the various styles he employs — arcane Chinese-influenced vocabulary as contrasted against common demotic talk. It is this difference that McKinney conveys in her translation.
Here is her opening passage: However you look at it, the human world is not an easy place to live. For comparison, here is the same passage in the Alan Turney translation: Approach everything rationally, and you become harsh.
The Three-Cornered World
Pole along the stream of emotion, and you will be swept away by the current. It is not a very agreeable place to live, this world of ours.
This does not reflect upon the Turney translation, which is a distinguished one. Still, as the late, great translator Edward G.
Kusamakura – Natsume Sōseki
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