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The Gate by Natsume Soseki
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The Gate

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The Gate by Natsume Soseki
Paperback $16.95
Dec 04, 2012 | ISBN 9781590175873

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  • Dec 04, 2012 | ISBN 9781590175873

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Praise

“I especially remember the strong sense of identification I  felt with The Gate, the story of a young married couple living in far-from-ideal circumstances.” —Haruki Murakami

“Released in 1910, The Gate is among top Japanese novelist Sōseki’s best-know works. A man suddenly abandons his loving wife to enter a life of contemplation in a Zen temple. He goes looking for answers but finds only more questions.” —Library Journal
 
“A sensitive, skillfully written novel by the most widely read Japanese author of modern times.” —The Guardian

“Soseki had a genius for sensitively depicting souls in torment.  The novel is about the marriage of Sosuke and Oyone….The Gate beautifully shows the way their relationship is suffused with both love and remorse, constantly reminding them of their pain while also acting to soothe it…. The Gate concludes with a poignant diminuendo, where Soseki takes leave of his couple with a scene of quiet and bittersweet domesticity. The sign of his greatness is that those last, longing notes sound as clearly now as when they were written.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“An empathetic portrayal of character dovetailing with Nietzschean and Zen thought…[Soseki] never stopped being a hard-boiled intellectual with a mercilessly ironic vision — and he never stayed still.” —Damian Flanagan, The Japan Times

“Sōseki’s prose is so delicate that each page is like looking at a set of dreamy watercolors.’ —Sunday Telegraph
 
The Gate is not so much tragic or comic as a graceful balance between the dispiriting and the humorous. It is surely the kind of writing we need. A masterpiece of taste and clarity.” —New Statesman
 
The Gate is almost devoid of dramatic incidents, but halting conversations of a quite ordinary husband and wife have a peculiar poignance because their love is the one abiding element in their lives. The descriptions of Sōseki’s house and its surroundings are as precise as in a Naturalist novel, and the atmosphere of almost featureless days is unfalteringly conveyed, but the novel never becomes boring, no doubt because of the excellence of the writing.” —Donald Keene

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