"The novel sustains throughout its length something approaching poetry, and it is rich in understanding and insight. The translation, by Edwin McClellan, is extremely good." —Anthony West, The New Yorker

Kokoro, which means "the heart of things," explores emotions familiar to everyone—love and hate, hope and despair, companionship and loneliness.

Sensei, a man seen against the rich background of old Japan entering the modern era, is outwardly successful. He has position, wealth, a charming wife. But deep in the heart of things, he is harried with a profound sense of isolation whose cure lies only in "faith, madness, or death."

His long-hidden secret, divulged to a young friend who faces a similar dilemma, is told with mounting intensity. Sensei confesses the crime of his young manhood, a crime in which, with all the appearance of innocence, he destroyed his best friend, the woman he loved—and himself.

The genius of Natsume Soseki, Japan’s greatest modern novelist, lies in his ability to express universal emotions with the beautiful restraint of the Japanese spirit. Under his pen, themes which have become almost hackneyed take on new fascination and vigor.

Natsume Soseki (1867–1916) remains one of the most widely read authors in Japan over a century after his death. Born in Tokyo and educated first at the Imperial University and then in England, he spent many years lecturing to Japanese students on English literature. His novels and essays are known for examining the conflicts between old and new, and between East and West.

Edwin McClellan (1925–2009) was a professor of Japanese literature at Yale University. Born and raised in Japan, he was educated at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and was serving as a fellow of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago when his celebrated translation of Kokoro was published in 1957. His translation was later selected for the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.

ISBN: 9780895267153

ISBN-10: 9780895267153

Publisher: Gateway Editions

Publication Date: 07/01/1996 - 12:00am

On Sale: 07/01/1996 - 12:00am

Pages: 248

Language: English


Fiction / World Literature / Japan

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Classics