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Quicksand de Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

Quicksand (original: 1930; edição: 1994)

de Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

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4421343,578 (3.68)20
Sonoko Kakiuchi is a cultured Osaka lady, unfortunately widowed young. But her story is unsettlingly at odds with her image. it is a tale of infatuation and deceit, of eliberate evil. Its theme is humiliation, its victim Sonoko's mild-mannered husband. At is centre - seductive, manipulating, enslaving - is one of Tanizaki's most extraordinary characters, the beautiful and corrupt art student Mitsuko.… (mais)
Autores:Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Informação:London : Vintage, 1994.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:nihon-no-hon-ga-suki-desu, deliciously-uncomfortable, twisted-passions-and-obsessions, females-in-the-spotlight, read-translation-english, alarming-fixations, meticulously-cruel, kindle

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Quicksand de Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (1930)


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Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The novel revolves around four characters: Sonoko Kakiuchi, the wife of a lawyer, a young woman of ethereal beauty called Mitsuko, Sonoko's lawyer husband, and Mitsuko's male love interest, Watanuki. The story is told in first person, from Sonoko's point of view, and she soon reveals herself to be a very selfish and troubled woman.

While in an art class, Sonoko meets Mitsuko and is captivated by her beauty. As the two start talking, they relate rumors that they are having a lesbian affair. So they dicide to start acting according to the rumors, where Mitsuko will visit Sonoko's house for hours on end, posing naked for her, with the intention of Sonoko painting her. However, nothing is being painted and soon Sonoko's husband begins to suspect that something is happening. He doesn't like the way Mitsuko invaded their lives and how Sonoko was willing to surrender to her. The two women begin to refer to each other as sisters and, although Sonoko is older, she is forced and manipulated by Mitsuko the youngest.

When Sonoko's husband asks his wife to stop seeing Mitsuko, she refuses. Then, when Sonoko begins to detect Mitsuko's emotional manipulation, she begins to crave her husband's love. However, when she finds out that Mitsuko may be pregnant and in need of help, the two get together and she rejects her previous feelings towards her husband and once again longs for Mitsuko's attention.

The relationship begins to become more complex when Watanuki, Mitsuko's love interest, becomes involved. Sonoko and Watanuki sign a pact with their own blood, where they promise to be Mitsuko's only lovers. Eventually, suicides are falsified and the results are tragic. A vortex is the obvious obsession that has managed to attract each of them, making them unable to manage or move without tragic results or sinking deeper.

The novel is one of those tales that we know will end tragically even before reading, as none of the characters are able to see the results of their own actions. Sonoko, despite all the alleged victimization, fails to see her own flaws and how her own obsessive jealousy is as much to blame as Mitsuko's dishonesty. No one trusts each other and yet they try, just to hurt themselves with some kind of indication that they have been cheated. At times, the achievements are genuine, and at other times, the characters still remain in denial.

Mitsuko is a classic type of character found in Japanese literature, the pretty girl whose beauty borders on perfection and yet is selfish, spoiled and manipulative. Tanizaki addresses a similar character in Naomi, as does Kawabata in several of his own works. Although Mitsuko is different from Naomi, they both manage to successfully manipulate the people around them.

Here young Mitsuko became the central link between Sonoko's marriage and her husband. She forces them to regularly perform an act against their will and, whenever one of them protests, Mitsuko throws a tantrum. The end is also not only tragic in a sense, but also illusory, as after the event unfolds, Sonoko is still convinced that others have conspired against her. However, after witnessing the ordeal between them, the tragic end is probably the best for all of them.

The original Japanese title is Manji, accompanied by the symbol of a Buddhist swastika (which the Nazis stole and misrepresented). The symbol translates to four interconnected lovers, there is also a religious meaning, from the Buddha's auspicious footprints and an informal one, used predominantly by high school and elementary students, which means something like "unbelievable", "are you kidding me?" . It's a feminine word. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Feb 24, 2021 |
"Quicksand" focuses on the growing lesbian relationship between a young married woman and a woman she meets at a kind of art college. Their relationship is tempestuous and draws others closer to the maelstrom, to terrible, tragic effect. The title of the book is as good a clue to what happens as anything else. The book is well-written - and well-translated - and carries the reader along very effectively; if you are curious about 1920s Japan this book will be of great interest to you. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jan 9, 2021 |
A condensed, swirling, heated storm of a novel. A beautiful accomplishment, a masterpiece. I loved this book, I would read it again, I will read it again. I’ve read several books by Tanizaki, and while he sticks pretty consistently to one theme, that is, the destructive power of love, this novel may be one of his most poignant expressions. Tanizaki is both a bold and a boring writer. He seemed to not care what people think, to write about dark obsessions no one talks about and he shied away from nothing. He wasn’t squeamish, you’d probably have to tear off the covers if you were a contemporary reader in Japan, reading his book on the train. But my goodness, the story was captivating. It was a steamy black-and-white film, nearly as soft and succulent as Kobo Abe’s Woman in the Dunes, but more down-to-earth, even more sensual, and quiet and easy. A satisfying one-day read. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
A wonderful, completely twisted, often times very funny tale about paranoia. Tanizaki's characters live in a world of lies, and I've rarely encountered a book better at making the reader as suspicious of everything as the characters are. Every relationship in the novel is defined in terms of who is the liar and who is the one being taken in. Eventually, all the characters, and I was too, begin to become completely paranoid and convinced they are the ones being lied to while everybody else knows the truth. The last 1/10th or so of the book is especially insane, with the characters descending into full blown madness. I know Tanizaki had to have had a good laugh when he ends the novel with another heavy dose of paranoia for the reader to drink. ( )
  ajdesasha | Nov 8, 2019 |
J’avais découvert Junichirô Tanizaki l’année dernière avec La Clef ou la confession impudique. Lors de mon dernier passage à la bibliothèque, j’ai emprunté deux autres de ses ouvrages dont celui-ci, Svastika, paru pour la première fois au Japon en 1928. J’ai vraiment encore une fois beaucoup aimé.

Une femme, Sonoko Kakiuchi, raconte à un écrivain son histoire, que l’on sait dès le départ tragique, sans savoir pourquoi. En effet, Sonoko Kakiuchi est, au moment de sa « confession », veuve, sans que l’on sache réellement depuis combien de temps. Elle était auparavant mariée, dans un mariage de convenance. Lui travaillant toute la journée dans son entreprise (qui ne fonctionne pas fort), elle décide de prendre des cours de peinture dans une École des Beaux-Arts de Jeunes Filles, pour rompre sa solitude et se faire de nouvelles connaissances. C’est à ce moment que les ennuis commencent. Pendant un cours, elle réalise un tableau de Kannon, d’après modèle mais ne peint pas le visage du modèle, lui préférant le visage d’une autre élève, Mitsuko. Le directeur de l’école se moque d’elle, des rumeurs sur une relation homosexuelle commencent à circuler alors que pour Sonoko, il ne s’agit au départ que d’une attirance esthétique vers une personne qu’elle a remarquée dans les couloirs. Elle n’a même jamais parlé à Mitsuko.

Quand celle-ci a vent des rumeurs, elle décide qu’il est temps de faire la connaissance de Sonoko. Elles deviennent très rapidement amies, puis amantes (sans que cela soit explicite dans le texte). La relation devient de plus en plus exclusive, le mari de Sonoko devenant un intrus auquel il faut cacher les faits par de nombreuses tromperies. Il apparaîtra plus tard que Mitsuko n’est pas tout à fait sincère (alors que c’est d’elle dont vient la demande d’exclusivité) puisque elle-même a un amant, Watanuki, qui n’est pas approuvé par sa famille (qui elle a en vue d’autres futurs maris). La relation à deux se transforme en relation à trois, puis à quatre quand le mari de Sonoko se rend compte de la situation, les quatre personnages principaux étant les quatre branches du svastika, une croix qui tourne.

Je reprends ici une des formules d’un commentaire sur Amazon : le livre explore à peu près toutes les combinaisons possibles dans une relation à quatre. C’est un peu exagéré mais en tout cas beaucoup de combinaisons : cela donne une fin totalement inattendue, en tout cas de moi. On retrouve ici la thématique chère à Tanizaki : la relation de couple et surtout la tension qu’il peut exister quand il y a de la frustration dans celle-ci. Je précise que la tension, dans ce livre, est plus amoureuse que sexuelle. On reste toujours en dehors de la chambre, contrairement au roman La Clef.

Ce que j’ai le plus aimé, c’est la description des relations entre les personnages, et plus particulièrement la précision des sentiments changeants qui vont les relier. Par exemple, Sonoko ne va pas se rendre immédiatement compte qu’elle est trompée par Mitsuko. Elle va passer de la naïveté, à la découverte, puis au pardon, puis à l’indignation, puis au pardon … un peu comme on le ferait dans une vraie relation. Et cela, c’est retranscrit avec finesse et précision par Tanizaki. Sonoko, lors de sa confession à l’écrivain, arrive à retrouver ses sentiments mais aussi ceux qu’elle a donnés, au moment des faits, à Mitsuko et à son mari.

On prend un peu en pitié Sonoko et son mari, même si eux-mêmes sont assez manipulateurs. C’est aussi ce qui m’a marqué pendant cette lecture : je n’arrêtais pas de changer d’avis sur les personnages, au fur et à mesure de la découverte des différentes manigances. Je pense que cela vient du fait que le lecteur reste extérieur (il n’y a pas vraiment de volonté de Tanizaki de faire naître une quelconque empathie) et tourne au rythme de la Svastika. Une constante tout de même durant ma lecture : je n’ai pas aimé Mitsuko (en tant que personne, pas en tant que personnage). Il apparaît très vite qu’elle ne fait que mentir et manipuler tout le monde, mais je me suis quand même demandée ce qui pouvait pousser à en arriver là : le caractère, l’éducation ou la société conservatrice et le désir de s’en libérer…

On sort ici de la simple relation de couple, pour découvrir (un peu) le Japon de l’époque et la manière dont les familles mais aussi la société (et le qu’en-dira-t-on) peuvent influer sur un couple et gère les moutons noirs ne respectant pas totalement les codes sociaux. Je trouve que là encore, c’est assez différent de La Clef. C’est un thème qui est approfondi dans le deuxième livre que j’ai pris et que je suis en train de lire, Un amour insensé.

En conclusion, c’est un très bon livre. On prend un très grand plaisir à suivre la manière dont les quatre personnages se jouent les uns des autres (ce n’est absolument jamais ennuyeux, toujours palpitant), et à se laisser manipuler par l’auteur. ( )
  CecileB | Nov 17, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Howard Hibbett, the translator of "Quicksand," once wrote in a Japanese journal that Tanizaki's constant themes were self-destructive sexuality and the double image of woman, as goddess and demon. Here, wrote Mr. Hibbett, we find "psychological truths that transcend cultural differences." It is a tribute to Tanizaki as a writer, and to Mr. Hibbett as a translator, that enough of these truths remain to make "Quicksand" a fascinating read, despite the fact that its unique tone is utterly lost in translation.

» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Jun'ichirō Tanizakiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ceccatty, René deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gotada, LeikoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hibbett, HowardTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kanō SanrakuArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ryôji NakamuraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Westerhoven, JacquesTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Woestijne, Joost van deDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
ZenoDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Sonoko Kakiuchi is a cultured Osaka lady, unfortunately widowed young. But her story is unsettlingly at odds with her image. it is a tale of infatuation and deceit, of eliberate evil. Its theme is humiliation, its victim Sonoko's mild-mannered husband. At is centre - seductive, manipulating, enslaving - is one of Tanizaki's most extraordinary characters, the beautiful and corrupt art student Mitsuko.

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