This novel is a key work in the Japanese transition from traditional to modern literature. An artist abandons city life to wander into the mountains to meditate, but when he decides to stay at a near-deserted inn he soon finds himself drawn to the daughter of the innkeeper. The artist becomes entranced by her. She reminds him of Millais's portrait of Ophelia drowning and he wants to paint her. Yet, troubled by a certain quality in her expression, he struggles to complete the portrait until he is finally able to penetrate the enigma of her life. Interspersed with philosophies of both East and West, Soseki's writing skillfully blends two very different cultures in this unique representation of the artistic sensibility. Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) was one of the first Japanese writers to be aware of Western culture and has been seen as a counter-reformation figure maintaining the virtues of tradition at a time of intellectual chaos. Soseki is generally acknowledged to have been one of the most important writers of the modern period.""--Times Literary Supplement.
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NATSUME SOSEKI (1867-1916) is considered the greatest novelist of the Meiji era and one of Japan's finest modern writers. Educated at Tokyo Imperial University, he was sent to London in 1900 as a Government Scholar. He returned to Japan three years later and became a full-time writer after lecturing in English Literature at the Imperial University. One of the first writers to be aware of Western culture, his work is still widely read in Japan, and contemporary Japanese writers continue to be influenced by his work.Review:
'An artist is a person who lives in the triangle which remains after the angle which we call common sense has been removed from this four-cornered world.' - Soseki 'A writer to be judged by the highest standards.' - SPECTATOR 'Natsume Soseki is generally acknowledged to have been one of the most important writers of the modern period. His importance to the Japanese is that of a counter-reformation figure maintaining the virtues of tradition against the rising tide of western culture. THE THREE-CORNERED WORLD serves a useful purpose in making one aware of the deliberate rear-guard action of a talented and influential writer at a time of intellectual chaos.' - TLS 'Vastly refreshing... Soseki doesn't shrink from seeking and finding exquisite pearls of beauty.' - GUARDIAN 'An Eastern Henry Fielding... very appealing.' - IRISH TIMES 'A poetic translaton... affords the reader penetrating insight into the heart of Japanese sensibility.' - MONUMENTA JAPONICA
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