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The Gate

by Natsume Soseki

  • Paperback
    $29.12
PUBLISHED: 15th January 2013
ISBN: 9781590175873
ANNOTATION:
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.
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OTHER FORMATS:
  • Paperback
    $29.12
PUBLISHED: 15th January 2013
ISBN: 9781590175873
ANNOTATION:
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.

Annotation

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.

Publisher Description

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, Sosuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of S?suke'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, Sosuke 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 Soseki 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.

Author Biography

NATSUME SOSEKI (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. He published his first work of fiction in 1905, the first chapter of what would become the famous satirical novel I Am a Cat. Other major works of his that have appeared in English translation include Botchan, Kusamakura, The Miner, and Kokoro. WILLIAM F. SIBLEY (1941-2009) was an emeritus professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. EDWARD FOWLER is a professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of California, Irvine. 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.

Review

'a jewel of a book, economically written in which every element fits perfectly.' Times Literary Supplement

Review Quote

"Released in 1910, The Gate is among top Japanese novelist Soseki's best-know works. A man suddenly abandons his loving wife to enter a life of contemplation in a Zen temple. He goes looking for answers but finds only more questions." Library Journal

Promotional "Headline"

An NYRB Classics Original

Description for Sales People

  • "Released in 1910, The Gate is among top Japanese novelist Soseki's best-know works. A man suddenly abandons his loving wife to enter a life of contemplation in a Zen temple. He goes looking for answers but finds only more questions." - Library Journal "A sensitive, skillfully written novel by the most widely read Japanese author of modern times." - The Guardian "Soseki's prose is so delicate that each page is like looking at a set of dreamy watercolors.' - Sunday Telegraph "The Gate is not so much tragic or comic as a graceful balance between the dispiriting and the humorous . . . The Gate is surely the kind of writing we need - a masterpiece of taste and clarity. Francis Mathy's translation must be warmly commended." - New Statesman "The Gate is almost devoid of dramatic incidents, but halting conversations of a quite ordinary husband and wife have a peculiar poignance because their love is the one abiding element in their lives. The descriptions of Soseki's house and its surroundings are as precise as in a Naturalist novel, and the atmosphere of almost featureless days is unfalteringly conveyed, but the novel never becomes boring, no doubt because of the excellence of the writing." - Donald Keene

Product Details

Author
Natsume Soseki
Pages
264
Publisher
The New York Review of Books, Inc
Translator
William F. Sibley
ISBN-10
1590175875
ISBN-13
9781590175873
Format
Paperback
Country of Publication
United States
Media
Book
Short Title
GATE
Language
English
Series
New York Review Books Classics
Edition
Main
Year
2013
Publication Date
2013-01-15
Audience
General/Trade