This seminal work is famous for being about nothing. It has neither a real plot or neat ending. It was written over one hundred years ago, but seems very modern indeed. A man is walking away from his life and his parent’s home. It is a walk devoid of meaning or purpose. It is taken in order to get away. With no intended designation, the hero is recruited by an obnoxious old man for work in the mines. They share fly infested food together and continue their journey. The ending is that the book never turns into a novel.
It takes quite a bit of will power to finish this book. It must be intended for very serious students of Japanese fiction. Most interesting to me were descriptions of style of dress and Japanese cuisine. It was very difficult to feel connected to the hero or his unfocused story. It is not a story about the mines, although the author was influenced by a chance meeting with a miner who related his story. It is hard to judge a classic in translation, but again the book must be intended for serious students of absurdist fiction.
|Author||Natsume Soseki • Jay Rubin, Translator • Haruki Murakami, Introduction|
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