By Natsume Soseki,John Nathan
Published in 1917, Light and Dark is in contrast to any of Natsume Soseki's prior works and special in eastern fiction of the interval. What distinguishes the unconventional as "modern" is its outstanding illustration of interiority. The protagonists, Tsuda Yoshio, thirty, and his spouse O-Nobu, twenty-three, express a fulfilling complexity that qualifies them as a few of the earliest examples of three-d characters in eastern fiction.
O-Nobu is quick-witted and crafty, a snob and narcissist at the least her husband, passionate, smug, spoiled, insecure, naive -- but, specially, gallant. below Soseki's scrutiny, she emerges as a flesh-and-blood heroine with a palpable truth, dueling together with her husband, his troublemaking good friend, Kobayashi, and her sister-in-law, O-Hidé. Tsuda undertakes his personal battles with Kobayashi, O-Hidé, and the manipulative Madam Yoshikawa, his boss's spouse. those exchanges explode into moments of severe jealousy, rancor, and recrimination that would shock English-speaking readers who count on indirectness, delicacy, and restraint in eastern family members. Echoing the paintings of Jane Austen and Henry James, Soseki's novel achieves maximal drama with minimum motion and symbolizes a tectonic shift in literary form.
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Light and Dark: A Novel (Weatherhead Books on Asia) by Natsume Soseki,John Nathan
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