A stunning new translation the first in more than forty years of a major novel by the father of modern Japanese fiction Natsume S'seki's Kusamakurafollows its nameless young artist-narrator on a meandering walking tour of the mountains. At the inn at a hot spring resort, he has a series of mysterious encounters with Nami, the lovely young daughter of the establishment. Nami, or beauty, is the center of this elegant novel, the still point around which the artist moves and the enigmatic subject of S'seki's word painting. In the author's words, Kusamakurais a haiku-style novel, that lives through beauty. Written at a time when Japan was opening its doors to the rest of the world, Kusamakuraturns inward, to the pristine mountain idyll and the taciturn lyricism of its courtship scenes, enshrining the essence of old Japan in a work of enchanting literary nostalgia.
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January 28, 2008
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