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Posts Tagged ‘Beauty And Sadness’

I read my first Yasunari Kawabata book a couple of years back. It was called ‘Snow Country‘. I thought it was time to read my next Kawabata book now. I picked ‘Beauty and Sadness‘.

In ‘Beauty and Sadness‘, a middle aged writer in his fifties, who lives in Tokyo, decides to travel to Kyoto and spend the New Year Eve there. He wants to ring in the New Year Eve there by listening to the bells of the temples. He also has another agenda there. He hopes to meet his former lover who lives there. She is a painter and she is famous, and they haven’t met in nearly twenty four years. Of course, this kind of search for the past is always beset with danger. It opens a Pandora’s Box and one thing leads to another and – well, read the book to find out what happens next 🙂

Beauty and Sadness‘ is a slim book at around 140 pages. I read it in a day. Yasunari Kawabata’s prose is lyrical and flows serenely like a river. His descriptions of nature and art are beautiful and delicate. The characters who make their appearance in the story are complex and imperfect and flawed and beautiful and endlessly fascinating. No one can accuse Kawabata of creating simple, caricature-ish characters – his characters are all real flesh-and-blood human beings with real feelings and imperfections. I wasn’t sure about the ending of the book and why it was the way it was. Sometimes it is hard to understand the ending of a story.

I enjoyed reading ‘Beauty and Sadness‘. I can’t wait to read my next Kawabata book, hopefully ‘Thousand Cranes‘. I will leave you with one of my favourite passages from the book.

“Time passed. But time flows in many streams. Like a river, an inner stream of time will flow rapidly at some places and sluggishly at others, or perhaps even stand hopelessly stagnant. Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”

Have you read Yasunari Kawabata’sBeauty and Sadness‘? What do you think about it?

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