Authors & Events
Authors & Events
May 28, 1996
| ISBN 9780679762645
Feb 20, 2013
| ISBN 9780307833655
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May 28, 1996 | ISBN 9780679762645
Feb 20, 2013 | ISBN 9780307833655
Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s The Sound of the Mountain is a beautiful rendering of the predicament of old age — the gradual, reluctant narrowing of a human life, along with the sudden upsurges of passion that illuminate its closing. By day Ogata Shingo, an elderly Tokyo businessman, is troubled by small failures of memory. At night he associates the distant rumble he hears from the nearby mountain with the sounds of death. In between are the complex relationships that were once the foundations of Shingo’s life: his trying wife; his philandering son; and his beautiful daughter-in-law, who inspires in him both pity and the stirrings of desire. Out of this translucent web of attachments, Kawabata has crafted a novel that is a powerful, serenely observed meditation on the relentless march of time.
“The apparently fixed constellations of family relationships, the recurrent beauties of nature, the flaming or flickering patterns of love and lust—all the elements of Kawabata’s fictional world are combined in an engrossing novel that rises to the incantatory fascination of a Nō drama.” —Saturday Review Few novels have rendered the predicament of old age more beautifully than The Sound of the Mountain. For in his portrait of an elderly Tokyo businessman, Yasunari Kawabata charts the gradual, reluctant narrowing of a human life, along with the sudden upsurges of passion that illuminate its closing. By day Ogata Shingo is troubled by small failures of memory. At night he hears a distant rumble from the nearby mountain, a sound he associates with death. In between are the relationships that were once the foundation of Shingo’s life: with his disappointing wife, his philandering son, and his daughter-in-law Kikuko, who instills in him both pity and uneasy stirrings of sexual desire. Out of this translucent web of attachments—and the tiny shifts of loyalty and affection that threaten to sever it irreparably—Kawabata creates a novel that is at once serenely observed and enormously affecting. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker
Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka in 1899. In 1968 he became the first Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. One of Japan’s most distinguished novelists, he published his first stories while he was still in high school,… More about Yasunari Kawabata
“Kawabata is a poet of the gentlest shades, of the evanescent, the imperceptible.”—Commonweal “A rich, complicated novel. . . . Of all modern Japanese fiction, Kawabata’s is the closest to poetry.” —The New York Times Book Review
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