My first book read in 2023 was Snow Country, by Kawabata Yasunari. The writing in this book is elegant in its simplicity and imagery. The story is an existential love story. I was completely drawn in by the storytelling, the images the author painted in my mind, and the sadness of what the author called “wasted effort.” This sad story was considered his masterpiece. Kawabata received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 for all of his works.
At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages, a stunning novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.
While looking online for information about Kawabata, I discovered that the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, NHK- Japan, was making a new film adaptation of the novel available free until October 2023. It is presented in two parts, each about 50 minutes long. I watched it last night after finishing the book, and it was absolutely beautiful. Along with the film, there was a lot of very interesting information about the author and the writing of this book. CLICK HERE TO LINK TO THE FILM.
This book is included on my list for the Japanese Literature Challenge, and for my second Classics Club challenge.
What a beautiful cover for this book. I have read one book by Yasunari Kawabata but it’s been many years. Hopefully will read this novel one day! You’re off to a great start on the challenge!
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Iliana, I love this comer, too. It fits perfectly with the story.
Oooh, thank you for the link for the TV adaptation – this is one of his most beautiful stories, so am eager to see it in film format too.
What an amazing find for me! I never knew Snow Country has been adapted into film, and that I can watch it free online. Thank you so much for this info and the link. I read Snow Country back in 2010 for Bellezza’s JLC4. Can’t believe it’s JLC16 this year! For my read this time, I just finished Keigo Higashino’s recent book which has not been translated into English yet.
I write book and film reviews at Ripple Effects. Again thanks for the Snow Country screen link!