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The Gate (New York Review Books Classics)

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The Gate (New York Review Books Classics) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An NYRB Classics Original

A humble clerk and his loving wife scrape out a quiet existence on the margins of Tokyo. Resigned, following years of exile and misfortune, to the bitter consequences of having married without their families’ consent, and unable to have children of their own, Sōsuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of Sōsuke’s brash younger brother. While an unlikely new friendship appears to offer a way out of this bind, it also soon threatens to dredge up a past that could once again force them to flee the capital. Desperate and torn, Sōsuke finally resolves to travel to a remote Zen mountain monastery to see if perhaps there, through meditation, he can find a way out of his predicament.

      

This moving and deceptively simple story, a melancholy tale shot through with glimmers of joy, beauty, and gentle wit, is an understated masterpiece by one of Japan’s greatest writers. At the end of his life, Natsume Sōseki declared The Gate, originally published in 1910, to be his favorite among all his novels. This new translation captures the oblique grace of the original while correcting numerous errors and omissions that marred the first English version.

Synopsis:

A humble clerk and his loving wife scrape out a quiet existence on the margins of late-Meiji Tokyo. Resigned, following years of exile and misfortune, to the bitter consequences of having married without their families’ consent, and unable to have children of their own, Sōsuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of Sōsuke’s brash younger brother. While an unlikely new friendship appears to offer a way out of this bind, it also soon threatens to dredge up a past that could once again force them to flee the capital. Desperate and torn, Sōsuke finally resolves to travel to a remote Zen mountain monastery to see if perhaps there, through meditation, he can find a way out of his predicament.

 

This moving and deceptively simple story, a melancholy tale shot through with glimmers of joy, beauty, and gentle wit, is an understated masterpiece by the first great writer of modern Japan. At the end of his life, Natsume Sōseki declared The Gate, originally published in 1910, to be his favorite among all his novels. This new translation at last captures the original’s oblique grace and also corrects numerous errors and omissions that marred the first English version.

About the Author

Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916), the widely read author of a variety of novels, essays, and haiku and kanshi poetry toward the end of the Meiji period (1868–1912), is the dominant figure in modern Japanese literature. In 1900 he was sent to London by the Japanese Ministry of Education to study English literature for two years, and upon his return was appointed lecturer in English at Tokyo Imperial University. He published his first work of fiction in 1905, the first chapter of what would become the famous satirical novel I Am a Cat. In 1907 he resigned his university teaching post to accept a position with an Asahi newspaper, a decision that shocked his contemporaries, and proceeded to produce novels at the rate of one a year until his death from a stomach ulcer in 1916. Other major works of his that have appeared in English translation include Botchan, Kusamakura, The Miner, and Kokoro.

 

Pico Iyer is the author of several books, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Global Soul.  He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and other publications and his most recent book is The Man Within My Head.  He lives in Japan.

William F. Sibley (1941–2009) was an emeritus professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590175873
Author:
Soseki, Natsume
Publisher:
New York Review of Books
Author:
Fowler, Edward
Author:
Sibley, William F.
Author:
Iyer, Pico
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20121231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.02 x 0.53 in 0.56 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Gate (New York Review Books Classics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590175873 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A humble clerk and his loving wife scrape out a quiet existence on the margins of late-Meiji Tokyo. Resigned, following years of exile and misfortune, to the bitter consequences of having married without their families’ consent, and unable to have children of their own, Sōsuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of Sōsuke’s brash younger brother. While an unlikely new friendship appears to offer a way out of this bind, it also soon threatens to dredge up a past that could once again force them to flee the capital. Desperate and torn, Sōsuke finally resolves to travel to a remote Zen mountain monastery to see if perhaps there, through meditation, he can find a way out of his predicament.

 

This moving and deceptively simple story, a melancholy tale shot through with glimmers of joy, beauty, and gentle wit, is an understated masterpiece by the first great writer of modern Japan. At the end of his life, Natsume Sōseki declared The Gate, originally published in 1910, to be his favorite among all his novels. This new translation at last captures the original’s oblique grace and also corrects numerous errors and omissions that marred the first English version.

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