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3.75 starsMan s original sin is his ego such is S seki Natsume s main theme of the unfinished novel Light and Dark, Meian, 1917 , who considered that egoism is the deep rooted origin of all evils, proliferating like a weed in the rush of modern existence S seki s Meian characters are ordinary Meiji people living ordinary but claustrophobic daily lives, utterly self absorbed, plagued by pettiness and selfish desires provoked to constant streams of verbal and psychological battles emphasiz 3.75 starsMan s original sin is his ego such is S seki Natsume s main theme of the unfinished novel Light and Dark, Meian, 1917 , who considered that egoism is the deep rooted origin of all evils, proliferating like a weed in the rush of modern existence S seki s Meian characters are ordinary Meiji people living ordinary but claustrophobic daily lives, utterly self absorbed, plagued by pettiness and selfish desires provoked to constant streams of verbal and psychological battles emphasizing the flaws of marriage, love and interpersonal relationships S seki laid bare the human failings of pride, self love and disingenuousness in his novel that is fundamentally about perception, a study in human relations, a satire of the artifices of the Meiji period He plied his characters with the darkness of selfishness, abject isolation, insincerity, distrust, egoism contrasting those with the lightness of hope, self awareness, truth, revelation, authenticity, visualizing ailluminating human condition At the heart of Light and Dark are Yoshio and O Nobu Tsuda, a young educated and middle class couple, recently married and considered to be happy In exploring Yoshio Tsuda s and O Nobu s characters the peripheral cast are treated similarly , S seki tested the binds of marriage as well as the flexibility of their love or the suffocating effect of it Tsuda takes the stage in a plot that turns out to be disappointingly spare of action, and as the title suggests holds a full spectrum of contrasting images He is made to be sick, spiritually as well as physically, opening the story with the need for surgery to remove a growth An unlikable man, he embodies the typical male of the period in the old fashioned treatment of hismodern wife Tsuda s egoism springs from an Old World background he views himself highly, his right to live a lofty lifestyle and have the freedom to pursue his own desires are solidly planted Men of old with an immovable sense of duty never allowed themselves to be smitten Tsuda regards his wife s complete attention to his personal comfort as his entitlement He sees no need to be honest or giving in his relationship with O Nobu Sometimes he attempted to mollify her At other times he felt rebellious and wanted to escape In either case he was always aware at the back of his consciousness, of a feeling that amounted to disparagement I can t be wasting all my time with a woman like you I have things to do for myself O Nobu is a modern woman of the day She falls in love with Yoshio baffling and marries him almost immediately She considers herself as mistress to her own affairs, aiming to prove her worthiness and determined to make her marriage a success a conviction obviously challenged by the stark reality of her marital unhappiness, and her failure to recognize her own egocentric actions as contributing factors Her struggle to understand and connect to a man like Tsuda is a concern that plagues most relationships O Nobu found herself thinking of Tsuda as a self centered man Despite the fact that she extended to him from morning to night what she intended to be the fullest extent of kindness and consideration she was capable of, was there no limit to the sacrifice her husband required Is a husband nothingthan a sponge who exists solely to soak up a wife s tendernessThe novel is a yin and yang minefield,complex of a read than expected, unprepared as I was at the time I slugged through it Undeniably, S seki possessed the masterful brushstrokes for exquisite imagery and subtle illusions, keeping true to his Zen aesthetics His portrait of nature, full of beauty and harmonious relationships that are at once asymmetrical and yet maintain a balance, attracted me to this book Admittedly, my own flawed vision blurred Light and Dark for me, it was leaden with ambiguities and overshadowed by vague dialogue Its slow moving narrative and insufferable cast fail to clearly bring to light the deeper concepts recessed in the plot An unfinished work due to the untimely death of the author, Light and Dark abruptly ended, unsatisfyingly Surely, S seki s intent was to bring a resolution for O Nobo and Yoshio, a compromise based on the knowledge of oneself, a realization of one s own limitations, and the letting go of ego the translator is unsure of the nature of the illness, only that Tsuda needs surgical repair In any case, the allegorical setting is laid.Fans of Japanese Literature would still enjoy this work which needed muchpatience than I possessed although by the time I reviewed it, I suppose I came to appreciate it better Light and Dark represents S seki s effort to put in perspective, through his unique approach to fiction, the rapidly changing dynamics of Japanese society and culture during the Meiji period 1868 1912 , of a well ordered society rushing too quickly toward a modernized Japan S seki saw the erosion of fundamental truths as expressed in traditional Japanese myth and Zen Buddhist teachings as well as fundamental truths of the human condition In his works, S seki constructed fictional characters to articulate his belief that modernization is necessary for Japan s survival, but, when it occurs too quickly, such change is unhealthy and threatens individual happiness S seki viewed that slower movement over time and space was critical to human development and the attainment of happiness In contrast to the previous evening, her face was somewhat redder than what Tsuda knew to be her normal complexion But that might be interpreted as the physiological effect of the strong autumn sunlight falling directly upon her Such was Tsuda s thought as he shifted his gaze away from the mountains to Kiyoko s flushed earlobes They were thin The position of her head was such that the sun struck her ears from behind, and Tsuda had the feeling the light reaching him had been filtered through In contrast to the previous evening, her face was somewhat redder than what Tsuda knew to be her normal complexion But that might be interpreted as the physiological effect of the strong autumn sunlight falling directly upon her Such was Tsuda s thought as he shifted his gaze away from the mountains to Kiyoko s flushed earlobes They were thin The position of her head was such that the sun struck her ears from behind, and Tsuda had the feeling the light reaching him had been filtered through her bloodstream on its way I should know better to read an unfinished novel but I couldn t resist a little upheaval and mystery in my reading life The writing is one of the deepest most intense reading and yet at the same time ambiguous and sublime There were whole sections that I have to re read and then go back to read a third time I like the inner workings of the mind and exploring deep psychological meaning in day to day life Even better is finding a writer who explores this to the depth that I enjoy I feel that I should know better to read an unfinished novel but I couldn t resist a little upheaval and mystery in my reading life The writing is one of the deepest most intense reading and yet at the same time ambiguous and sublime There were whole sections that I have to re read and then go back to read a third time I like the inner workings of the mind and exploring deep psychological meaning in day to day life Even better is finding a writer who explores this to the depth that I enjoy I feel that this last novel of Natsume dares to walk boldly into all those levels and taking it a step further into the spiritual At some point it created a claustrophic reaction that reminded me of the British show Prisoner It would have been interesting to see how Natsume would have worked out the ending on this very beautiful, unique story Tokyo, second decade of the twentieth century The middle class get about in rickshaws or on the trolley they send the maid out to make calls on the public telephone they visit one another on a whim and talk for hours It took a while to adjust myself to this slower world that Natsume S seki depicts And as the translator, John Nathan, admits in his very necessary introduction The plot of Light and Dark is a paltry matter its 700 languorous pages proceed in an atmosphere of insistently quot Tokyo, second decade of the twentieth century The middle class get about in rickshaws or on the trolley they send the maid out to make calls on the public telephone they visit one another on a whim and talk for hours It took a while to adjust myself to this slower world that Natsume S seki depicts And as the translator, John Nathan, admits in his very necessary introduction The plot of Light and Dark is a paltry matter its 700 languorous pages proceed in an atmosphere of insistently quotidian, if highly charged, stasis p 6 Nonetheless, the cumulative effect is powerful, even Jamesian The translation, too, is ravishing, not a false note throughout Contin o adentr ndome en las novelas de este escritor Su narrativa es lenta, s , pero se abre y se marchita siguiendo el curso de la vida Sus personajes evolucionan, de ingenuos estudiantes atosigados por dudas a hombres mayores irrealizados, desgarrados por sus in decisiones Y entrecomillo hombres porque, justamente en esta ltima novela, S seki reflexiona sobre esta categor a Se hombre , repiten una y otra vez las voces de sus personajes Luz y oscuridad despliega un amplio abanico d Contin o adentr ndome en las novelas de este escritor Su narrativa es lenta, s , pero se abre y se marchita siguiendo el curso de la vida Sus personajes evolucionan, de ingenuos estudiantes atosigados por dudas a hombres mayores irrealizados, desgarrados por sus in decisiones Y entrecomillo hombres porque, justamente en esta ltima novela, S seki reflexiona sobre esta categor a Se hombre , repiten una y otra vez las voces de sus personajes Luz y oscuridad despliega un amplio abanico de personalidades, modeladas y erosionadas por distintas circunstancias Al igual que en las anteriores tramas, las presiones familiares, las traiciones y el dinero vuelven a ser centrales La herencia maldita en mis palabras , enfrentada a una libertad enga osa y desafortunada, que genera una suerte de par lisis en estas subjetividades Expresi n de ello es el ritmo ralentizado de los hechos Una piensa bueno, no pasa nada , mientras se desespera leyendo la manifestaci n de las contradicciones, de los di logos internos, de los silencios y gestos propios de la din mica social japonesa Y en el trasfondo siempre un enigma, un secreto, que se devela al final para mostrarnos la miserabilidad de la condici n humana no en vano, son reiteradas y expl citas las referencias a las lecturas de Dostoievski Es triste, claro Pero no olvidemos que nos hallamos ante una comunidad avasallada por la nueva l gica occidental y ante un autor, de finales de la era Meiji 1868 1912 , que se muere de dolor y angustia durante la escritura de esta, su ltima novela This was sublime and I got a lot out of reading it again I first read this book about twenty years ago and have moved with it along with a ton of other books seven times in the last two decades.Soseki s precision,emotional honesty and stunning attention to essential detail are on display great writing. After a season of reading Jane Austen and Henry James in England, Soseki comes up with Meian, a masterpiece of psychological realism I wonder what would he had written had a volume of Clarice Lispector gotten in the way to his lap, in a sunnier season, in a warmer country.Personally I mind very much reading books with no plot Feeling like I have had my share of Soseki before even reading I am a Cat , I am looking for a new Japanese author to discover However, acknowledging the brilliance o After a season of reading Jane Austen and Henry James in England, Soseki comes up with Meian, a masterpiece of psychological realism I wonder what would he had written had a volume of Clarice Lispector gotten in the way to his lap, in a sunnier season, in a warmer country.Personally I mind very much reading books with no plot Feeling like I have had my share of Soseki before even reading I am a Cat , I am looking for a new Japanese author to discover However, acknowledging the brilliance of the dialogues in Meian and the building of three dimensional characters is a must Sure to have forgotten about this novel next summer, I close my borrowed edition with a feeling of satisfaction rarely delivered by an unfinished book This is the last book of the author, who couldn t finish it Le dar a todas las estrellas si estuviera terminado, de todas formas vale la pena de leer Los personajes est n construidos de una forma maestra, por momentos los adoras, luego te desesperan, son de los m s completos que he le do hasta ahora.Natsume Soseki es un maestro, definitivamente seguir leyendo sus relatos. {DOWNLOAD KINDLE} Ï Light and Darkness ò Published in , Light and Dark is unlike any of Natsume Soseki s previous works and unique in Japanese fiction of the period What distinguishes the novel as modern is its remarkable representation of interiority The protagonists, Tsuda Yoshio, thirty, and his wife O Nobu, twenty three, exhibit a gratifying complexity that qualifies them as some of the earliest examples of three dimensional characters in Japanese fictionO Nobu is quick witted and cunning, a snob and narcissist no less than her husband, passionate, arrogant, spoiled, insecure, naive yet, above all, gallant Under Soseki s scrutiny, she emerges as a flesh and blood heroine with a palpable reality, dueling with her husband, his troublemaking friend, Kobayashi, and her sister in law, O Hid Tsuda undertakes his own battles with Kobayashi, O Hid and the manipulative Madam Yoshikawa, his boss s wife These exchanges explode into moments of intense jealousy, rancor, and recrimination that will surprise English speaking readers who expect indirectness, delicacy, and reticence in Japanese relations Echoing the work of Jane Austen and Henry James, Soseki s novel achieves maximal drama with minimal action and symbolizes a tectonic shift in literary form De muy f cil lectura, aunque la segunda edici n de esta editorial tuvo much simas erratas Creo que todos hubi semos querido verla terminada, hermosa, a medio camino entre lo que entendemos como oriente y occidente