Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reading 'Thousand Cranes'

This morning I just finished reading Kawabata's Thousand Cranes. I now feel I need to read it again. Despite my preparation (reading books on the history and culture of Japan, reading a large collection of Japanese short stories, watching three Japanese films set in the era, and actually taking part in a tea ceremony, albeit a Chinese one), I still found the book puzzling. All the way through I kept wondering why that was said then, and the significance of the short paragraphs of natural description. Despite all this I still found the short novel one of the most intense pieces of writing I have ever read.


Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Back in the eighties I used to send out my poetry to all the usual suspects in the small press world but one magazine that took them on a regular basis was Sepia. The guy who ran it called his business Kawabata Press and because of him I bought the only Kawabata novel I’ve read so far, The Master of Go. Back then I zoomed through it and didn’t much get it but I reread it a while back and was far more impressed by it. You can read my review here if you’re interested (it’s one of my shorter ones). I would like to read him again. I think I’ll go and put one of his books on my Amazon wish list before I get distracted.

Tue Mar 29, 11:06:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Jim, I've read your review and found it extremely helpful. What you say about that book applies also to this one.

Tue Mar 29, 11:26:00 am  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

Somehow the departing-still-puzzled is appealing, isn't it? I admire the way you assault your reading with preparation, by the by.

Mon Apr 04, 06:40:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Yes, it is, Marly. I suppose it gives the reader a chance to create too.

Thu Apr 07, 08:21:00 am  

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