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The Miner (English and Japanese Edition) de…

The Miner (English and Japanese Edition) (edição: 1988)

de Natsume Soseki (Autor)

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Título:The Miner (English and Japanese Edition)
Autores:Natsume Soseki (Autor)
Informação:Stanford Univ Pr (1988), Edition: y First American edition, 189 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:japanese-obsession, soseki-endo, reviewed, 5-star

Detalhes da Obra

The Miner de Natsume Soseki


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Exibindo 5 de 5
This book is a bit of an oddity, it's curiously pointless I guess. It was first published in serial form, and never really resolves into much of a plot or story (though this is fairly common in Japanese literature), it's just a matter of fact description of a man being recruited to work in copper mine and then his experience on reaching the mine. He doesn't have a whole lot of character or agency, it all just happens to him and then the book ends. But the writing is good and I enjoyed going along with it - its very atmospheric and thoughtful. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Dec 7, 2020 |
I didn't expect this novel to leave such a big impression on me. It seemed like a throwaway novel in Soseki's oeuvre, with hardly any character development, almost no plot and little adornment. But it is a subtle exploration of character, theme and atmosphere. It’s an adventure novel disguised as fictitious reportage. It’s falsely autobiographical, it’s heart-breaking by accident and it managed to worm its way into my psyche. Soseki wrote it for a fan, based on a scattered retelling of a juvenile anecdote. But he simply couldn't help but live up to his own standards.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Soseki’s work. Uneven novels like I Am a Cat and unmemorable ones like the Wayfarer are balanced out by amazing experiences like Kokoro and masterful evocations like Three-Cornered World. Sometimes, I'll reread a passage from a sloppier work and realize my initial reaction was too harsh. You get the sense that Soseki never knew what he was writing about, never really had more than a vague plan. But at other times, he writes with the assured confidence of a literary genius. Too much is made of his experience in London I think. It is treated like a defining moment in his career. Soseki is credited largely with bringing together Eastern and Western literature, but I would argue that Toson did a fine job of it as well. And Lafcadio Hearn understood better than either of those writers the extent and impact of culture clash. Whereas Abe was more readable and experimental, Soseki's experimentation is always praised, and his mundane repetitions are hardly ever criticized. He wrote from the heart though, and his heart was not always sincere. His characters are always himself, even when they are in the form of a cat, and they are extremely easy to identify with. His women characters are not the best, but his novels are a criticism of his own traditional trappings even as he puts on Western clothes. He explored the mindset of an artist with a hasty, desperate thoroughness. He never had a chance in London – that much is clear from his reportage, and I think he largely wasted his time there. Writers like Nagai Kafu wrote about experiences abroad too, and I believe, brought back more objective observations.

Though it is clear Soseki used a lot of the experience to focus his own responsibility as a spokesperson of the Japanese Everyman, the Miner is an unassuming novel. Like something he wrote against his will. Like a kid’s homework assignment that the student writes with gritted teeth and many resentful tears but the teacher ends up framing. The Miner might be my favorite Soseki novel, though it’s impossible to pin down what makes each novel so good and memorable. One day I side with Botchan, and on other days I remember Ten Nights' Dreams more fondly. The plots of The Gate, The Wayfarer, And Then, and Sanshiro can blend together, like segments of a single narrative, but The Miner certainly stands apart. It takes place mainly in darkness, mostly within the psyche. In many ways, it reminded me of Kobo Abe's Ark Sakura. Soseki can be incredibly prolix (as in Light and Darkness) but one of his great strengths is his seemingly accidental insights into people during periods of subtle psychological strains, and just putting that on the page can make for a compelling narrative. It doesn’t have to be something colorful. It’s completely monochrome actually, but it contains a quiet mystery I will never forget.

Haruki Murakami's personal thoughts are laid out in the Introduction of the 2015 translation. In many respects I agree that this novel changed how I regarded Soseki. It may be difficult to rate his works above Tanizaki's or Toson's but I can't deny that the consistency of his writing and the Everyman narratives give his books a timeless charm. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
'Can't tell if I'm making headway with only trees around. No point walking if the trees aren't going to *do* something - develop. Better to stay put and try to outstare a tree, see who laughs first.'

Originally written in 1908, 'The Miner' is a classic of Japanese literature that has received a mixed reception. In many ways it is an experimental novel, a companion to Kafka, a precursor to Camus or Beckett. Our unnamed narrator is a nineteen-year old man, having walked out of the family home in Tokyo because of unspecified relationship issues with two different women. He is scouted by a man named Chozo, who recruits him to work as a miner. As they trek through forests and mountains they pick up another two along the way, a man wearing a red blanket and a younger homeless boy. Arriving at the mine our narrator is given a tour of the deepest recesses of 'the hole', in a section that brings to mind Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as his guide. On emerging, our narrator stays working at the mine for five months before leaving.

This is not the kind of novel for anyone requiring anything approaching a plot! This is a meditative, philosophical work, often frustratingly so. There doesn't appear to be any sort of resolution or conclusion, other than a reinforcement of the alienation that our narrator feels from the start. Emerging from his medical at the end of the book he reflects that he, and the world around him, is still 'entirely ordinary and entirely meaningless'. But there is a power here, a way that Soseki creates his world and it is startling to return to it now, for in here is much to pave the way forward. This is very much the world of 'try again, fail again', where characters are at breaking point and are caught in the dilemma of ending their lives or living a non-life.

Elusive, challenging, and not exactly a laugh-a-minute ride, this is, however, an important work, and in this version it contains a useful introduction from Haruki Murakami, and an equally useful afterword from the translator (and long-time collaborator of Murakami) Jay Rubin. It deserves its place in the history of literature and remains as powerful today as it must have been in 1908. ( )
  Alan.M | Oct 29, 2019 |
El minero, novela que inicia el período de madurez del maestro japonés Natsume Sōseki, es una obra introspectiva que indaga en la naturaleza de la personalidad a la vez que supone una crítica feroz contra el imperialismo y la cultura de clases de la época.

Enredado entre dos mujeres de caracteres totalmente opuestos, un joven tokiota de buena familia decide abandonar su ciudad natal y la comodidad de su hogar para poner fin a su vida de una manera heroica. Pero en su camino se cruza un misterioso anciano que le convencerá de que la mejor opción en la encrucijada en la que se encuentra es la de convertirse en minero. Aceptando esa suerte de muerte en vida y escoltado por dos peculiares compañeros de viaje, el protagonista emprenderá un arduo camino que supondrá una ruptura radical con toda su vida anterior. Con el delicado paisaje japonés de fondo, las reflexiones del muchacho sobre su propia identidad, sobre la versatilidad del carácter humano y sobre la sociedad que le rodea supondrán para él la piedra de toque que le hará entrar en la edad adulta.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Oct 7, 2016 |
An under appreciated work that deserves far more attention for its groundbreaking style into the stream of consciousness. Typically, James Joyce is attributed the honor of founding this technique with honorable mention to Faulkner for American novels; however, Natsume predates both. Joyce and Faulkner certainly mastered the technique with a polished product but this work deserves recognition as revolutionary. If you are familiar with Natsume's works but have not read this work currently, it is not like anything he has written prior. It is completely out of his style but shows the power of his ability to experiment as a writer. Be forewarned that this novel does not have a standard plot and is considered by some critics as the anti-novel. It does loosely follow a plot line but for the majority of the work, it is a series of observations and internal dialogue. I would recommend this work for one of the two following readers: 1.) The student of literature that wants to study how the written art has evolved. 2.) Readers who are interested in studying Japanese literature. It is a work that deserves more academic respect but not a work for general entertainment. Much like the "The Tale of Genji" being the first known novel, "The Miner" deserves recognition for being one of the originals for literary style. ( )
  My_Humble_Parnassus | May 3, 2016 |
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