Snow Country

Snow Country

Book - 1996
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Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata's Snow Country is widely considered to be the writer's masterpiece: a powerful tale of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan.

At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages -- a stunning novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1996
Edition: First Vintage International edition
ISBN: 9780679761044
Branch Call Number: FICTION Kaw
Description: x, 175 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Seidensticker, Edward 1921-2007


From Library Staff

Follows the story of a tragic affair between a wealthy dilettante and a mountain geisha who gives herself to him without illusions or regrets, in a tale of wasted love by the Nobel Prize-winning Japanese author.

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Nov 10, 2017

' oh yoko, oh y-o-h-k-o. my love will turn you on...' "if the hot spring geisha is not an outcast, she is perilously near being one..the pretense that she is an artist and not a prostitute is often a thin one indeed." "SNOW COUNTRY was begun in 1934 and published piecemeal between 1935 and 1937. in 1947 a final installment was added." "the haiku manner is notable for its terseness and austerity, so the novel is like a series of brief flashes in a void." "

Jul 04, 2013

I agree re. unsympathetic characters. Maybe it has to do with cultural differences, although sexism is unsympathetic in any culture. Probably due to translation but hard to understand why this is Nobel worthy, although the Nobel committee doesn't read it in the original Japanese do they?

Jul 03, 2013

A difficult book to read by a Nobel Prize winner. Shimamura periodically leaves his wife and family in Tokyo to go to Japan's mountain country, where he is having an affair with a geisha. She is bizarre and he is bloodless. Meanwhile he is intrigued by another young woman, Yoko. There is nothing to particularly like about any of the characters.


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Jun 25, 2015

The thread of the grass-linen, finer than animal hair, is difficult to work except in the humidity of the snow, it is said, and the dark, cold season is therefore ideal for weaving. The ancients used to add that the way this product of the cold has of feeling cool to the skin in the hottest weather is a play of the principles of light and darkness. this Komako, too, who had so fastened herself to him, seemed at center cool, and the remarkable, concentrated warmth was for that fact all the more touching.
But this love would leave behind it nothing so definite as a piece of Chijimi. Though cloth to be worn is among the most short-lived of craftworks, a good piece of Chijimi, if it has been taken care of, can be worn quite unfaded a half-century and more after weaving. As Shimamura thought absently how human intimacies have not even so long a life, the image of Komako as the mother of another man's children suddenly floated into his mind. p.154


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