Lo bello y lo triste
Impulsado por la nostalgia, Oki Toshio decide viajar a Kyoto para oír sonar las campanas del templo en el Año Nuevo. Pero, además, quiere ver a Otoko, su antigua amante, ahora pintora. Todavía hermosa, Otoko vive con su protegida Keiko, una joven amoral, sensual y apasionada de apenas veinte años. Keiko desencadenará este cruel drama de amor, venganza y destrucción. Yasuna...more
Beauty and Sadness is a 1964 novel by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata.
Opening on the train to Kyoto, the narrative, in characteristic Kawabata fashion, subtly brings up issues of tradition and modernity as it explores writer Oki Toshio's reunion with a young lover from his past, Otoko Ueno, who is now a famous artist and recluse.
Ueno is now living with her protégée and a jealous lover, Keiko Sakami, and the unfolding relation ...more
Does a novel have to be pretty? Can’t a novel give account of sadness?
Could a novelist be like a painter or sculptor?
I suppose even a woman's hatred is a kind of love
What does it take to be a great author? Does one have to condense complex ideas to form out prose which is high on acumen and demanding? Could an author write so effortlessly as if he is making no attempt at all, as water falls down a hill; and yet, he could strike you so profoundly that your heart weeps out. You may find it amusing ...more
Beauty and Sadness is much more than a mere contrivance to attract potential readers, this magic narration, shrouded in magnificent contradiction, has the power to shock right from the beginning with the indwelling lyricism emanating from its title.
Beauty and Sadness. Opposing concepts fused and confused in a blur of balmy ocher and passionate red, in the inevitable passage of time and the timelessness of the frozen moment, in t ...more
Oki Toshio is a well-known middle-aged writer. When he was in his early 30s, he had an affair with an innocent teenager, Otoko, got her pregnant (he was married at the time) and essentially ruined her life. He then dealt with the experience in a novel, which remains his most popular work.
Now he’s curious about seeing Otoko again. She’s a famous yet reclusive artist, still beautiful, and living in Kyoto with her y ...more
Oki longs for a meeting with Ueno Otoko (now famous too, an artist) the woman whose youth he ruined, and to whom the past echoes with obligations ...more
After reading this, I found out that it was his last novel. And it was the first by him I’ve read. Now, not sure which way to go. He touches such a deep nerve. And he does it without being pretentious.
I might expend on this later.
But is it really a line? What causes one to cross it, and for how long? A ...more
Some weeks ago I came across a review mentioning this novel by Kawabata so I decided to read it to recapture what, I think, I had missed from the first reading. While reading the following nine chapters: Temple Bells, Early Spring, The Festival of the Full Moon, A Rainy Sky, A Stone Garden, The Lotus in the Flames, Strands of Black Hair, Summer Losses, and The Lake, I thought it would deserve a 4-star rating but I changed my mind at the last chapter so the rating minus . ...more
Writing a comment for such a masterpiece is one of the hardest moments that I've ever had. From beginning to the end, Mr. Kawabata reveals an incredible environment among individuals and pushes reader to contemplate to what extend obscurity and complexity can endure among people.
The layers of novel psychologically sets very intense themes such as love, revenge, acceptance by society and manipulation with Mr.Kawabata's artistic intelligence.
I really feel that before wri ...more
Very beautiful and simplistic - exactly what i wanted out of a Japanese Lit story like this one, but more on the dull side in my personal opinion. Still appreciated it and thought it was pretty, but I'll be interested to see what this author's other works bring. ...more
"I'm not afraid of suicide. The worst thing is being sick of life." (53)I decided to expand my reading of Japanese writers beyond the small circle of favorites—particularly Dazai and Mishima—with Kawabata. I ordered three of his works, and settled on Beauty and Sadness as a first encounter—largely, admittedly, due to its intriguing and sublime title. The story centers on a love affair between a fifteen-year-old girl (Otoko) and a married-with-child (Taichiro) thirty-year-old man (Oki). Oki later ...more
"Her awareness of her body was inseparable from her memory of his embrace."
His work is deceptively simple, seemingly all touching on similar subject matter with a similar clean and clear, straight forward style that manage to capture a certain mood of longing in his protagonists and dislocation from their lives yet evocative of time and place and providing deep insight in to their souls.
This one wa ...more
I think I'm right to say that this has my first Japanese-fiction daytime outdoors sex scene.
This was obviously written by a man, and you probably don't want to read it if you are serious about your lesbianism. ...more
When I bought this book, second hand but 'new,' I ignored the little alarms that warned me to keep my money in my pocket. I had spent too much time looking for my usual dreck in my local used bookstore, and had made myself late — books before life! As I'm in the process of leaving the store I see atop an 'in-box' near the cash register Beauty and Sadness. I decided that the author being Japanese out-weighed my caution against him being a Nobel prize winner. I allowed my visual aesthetic to tumbl ...more
The famed Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata wrote many novels which focused mostly on the beauty of Japanese traditional cultures, the scenery and the relationship between men and women, and his novels are often a 'hit or miss' for me.
After enjoying his elegantly written novels such as The Old Capitol, Snow Country and Sleeping Beauties; Beauty and Sadness really feels like a miss to me.
Once again, the backdrop is set in Koyto, though it's interesting to see how Mr. Kawabata describe ...more
"Beauty and sadness " was published in 1964, seems to me a fairly modern and open novel.
I’m really, really torn about this one. I wanted to give up but the revenge plot kept me in. Excuse the schizoid review but that’s how it goes.
Once again Kawabata creates an enchanting world with vivid descriptions and luscious prose. If nothing else, Kyoto has got to be on my must visit list.
But then there is the sordid plot.
(view spoiler)[Middle aged married guy, Oki, violates an underage girl, Otoko, gets her pregnant, miscarries, tries to kill herself, his wife Fumiko ...more
Set around three characters, the aging novelist Oki, his ex mistress Otoko and the young protege Keiko. In some ways the sadness overshadowed the beauty element in this story. Dark themes on offer and an ending that I found wanting but fitting at the same time.
It's the type of book that I appreciate more after I've read it and start thinking about it, rather than during. I know in the future certain scenes or quotes will pop into my mind.
A defi ...more
This book is about so many things, love, revenge, art, places.
The writing is very abstract, still all the characters have been defined wonderfully. There is madness in all the characters, something which I cant explain for that you need to read the book.
Minimalist writing is difficult and author has done it so beautifully, it was a complete page turner f ...more
The writing is so elegant and poignant, its delicacy also reminded me of James Baldwin’s Gi ...more
That and the fact that there were glorious descriptions of Kyoto, one of my favorite cities, bringing back warm memories of my visit there. But most of the characters behave in strange fashion, as the friend wrote, “there’s a touch of madness” in all of them. Oh well, aren’t we all?
I think the book makes more sense to me as an un ...more
You shouldn't really. I make my money by my craft, and you shouldn't marry me. It's impossible not to incorporate bits of your life into your writing. And if, like the protagonist of Beauty and Sadness, you are a bit of a heel to begin with, it will be far worse. This is more of Kawabata facing down modern Japan and I'm guessing facing down his own relationship to his metier, and it's one of the better books of his that I've read. ...more
I don't know if ruminations about the sea and stone gardens and cherry blossoms and fireflies or whatever make this story any less the lurid soap opera. Nonetheless, it's all a framework for what Kawabata does best, about which I elaborate below.
The story, in a nutshell, is told partly in retrospect and partly in the present. A novelist in his 50s, Oki, recalls how at age 30 (when he was newly m ...more
Beauty and Sadness is a novel of love and betrayal, vengeance and deceit. Unlike the other books, the story moves steadily towards an end that is not always apparent. Instead of one central character, Kawabata shifts the centre of attention over three characters.
In the other three books, Snow Country, Thousand Cranes and The Sound of the Mountain, much of the 'action' was carried by description, by sub ...more
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Nobel Lecture: 1968