The shift in attitudes and concerns that took place in the Taisho period (1912-1926) was signaled by the emergence of a new and authentically contemporary Japanese sense of self. For many, Sato Haruo's novella Gloom in the Country marked that shift. Originally entitled The Sick Rose, this story has long been regarded as an icon of the period and is the masterpiece that made Sato instantly famous when it burst on the literary scene in 1918. With this volume, Francis Tenny makes Gloom in the Country available in English for the first time, along with its sequel, Gloom in the City, and the compelling companion piece Okinu and Her Brother. Together these stories demonstrate the range of Sato's style and weave together a number of his themes: the contrast between eternal nature and the finite person, the quest for aesthetic and spiritual balance, the lyric articulation of the interior life, the dislocation of the individual from nature and society. With sinuous linguistic grace, Sato's delineation of the modern sensibility draws from great works of Western literature and the classical traditions of Japan and China. This trilogy thus forms a window into the heart of the Japanese individual, torn between dream and reality, between tradition and the modern world, between introspection and action. For its elegant depiction of the modern human condition, The Sick Rose will appeal to sensitive readers everywhere.
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Published December 1, 1993
by Univ of Hawaii Pr.
Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction.