Kokoro (Penguin Classics)

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9780143106036: Kokoro (Penguin Classics)

The great Japanese author’s most famous novel, in its first new English translation in half a century
 
No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, his most famous novel and the last he completed before his death. Published here in the first new translation in more than fifty years, Kokoro—meaning "heart"—is the story of a subtle and poignant friendship between two unnamed characters, a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls "Sensei." Haunted by tragic secrets that have cast a long shadow over his life, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt, and revealing, in the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between his moral anguish and his student's struggle to understand it, the profound cultural shift from one generation to the next that characterized Japan in the early twentieth century.

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About the Author:

Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), one of Japan's most influential modern writers, is widely considered the foremost novelist of the Meiji era (1868-1914) and a master of psychological fiction. As well as his works of fiction, his essays, haiku, and kanshi have been influential and are popular even today. 
 
Meredith McKinney (translator) holds a PhD in medieval Japanese literature from the University in Canberra, where she teaches in the Japan Centre. She lived and taught in Japan for twenty years and now lives near Braidwood, New South Wales. Her other translations include Ravine and Other Stories, The Tale of Saigyo, and for Penguin Classics, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, and Kusamakura.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Kokoro is the great Japanese modern novel. The last its author completed, published in 1914, two years before his death at 48, it voices the spiritual desolation of a society that had deliberately transformed itself from quasi-feudal isolation to determinedly modern player on the world stage in little more than 50 years. The never-named narrator-hero of the novel’s first half is a provincial student in Tokyo who befriends a man some 20 years older whom he meets on a beach that is a favorite student getaway site. Well-mannered, educated, comfortable, ostensibly happily married though childless, the man, whom the narrator regularly visits once they’re both back in the city, yet exudes sadness. In the book’s second half, narrated by Sensei (i.e., mentor), as the student calls him, we learn why: he feels he betrayed a friend by first pressing his suit for the woman both love. Translator McKinney, who makes a completely stylistically modern—verbally and syntactically plain, realistic, personally voiced, intimate in tone—English-language novel of this quietly profound masterpiece, imparts in her introduction all that non-Japanese need to know to appreciate why the book is considered a national treasure. It is an international modernist treasure through sharing the aching, regretful sensibility of such works as Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Ingmar Bergman’s arguably greatest film, Winter Light. --Ray Olson

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kokoro, meaning heart , is a tantalising novel about the friendship between a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls Sensei. Set in the early twentieth century, when the death of the emperor Meiji gave way to a new era in Japanese politicial and cultural life, the novel enacts the transition from one generation to the next in the dynamic between Sensei, who is haunted by mysterious events in his past, and the unnamed young man, one of the new generation s elite who will inherit the coming era. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780143106036

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kokoro, meaning heart , is a tantalising novel about the friendship between a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls Sensei. Set in the early twentieth century, when the death of the emperor Meiji gave way to a new era in Japanese politicial and cultural life, the novel enacts the transition from one generation to the next in the dynamic between Sensei, who is haunted by mysterious events in his past, and the unnamed young man, one of the new generation s elite who will inherit the coming era. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780143106036

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Kokoro, meaning heart , is a tantalising novel about the friendship between a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls Sensei. Set in the early twentieth century, when the death of the emperor Meiji gave way to a new era in Japanese politicial and cultural life, the novel enacts the transition from one generation to the next in the dynamic between Sensei, who is haunted by mysterious events in his past, and the unnamed young man, one of the new generation s elite who will inherit the coming era. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780143106036

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