Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Asian lit

The excellent Complete Review website has put up a new review of The Reverse Side of Life by Lee Seung-U. We’re glad about that because it hasn’t really get the attention it deserved on publication. He’s an excellent writer.

Whilst we’re in that part of the world (but don’t whatever you do confuse the two countries) the first six advance copies of our new edition of Kokoro by Natsume Soseki have come in. Now Soseki’s one of those fascinating writers who seems to have achieved universal acclaim in his own country whilst not getting anything like the same recognition elsewhere. Every time Damian Flanagan, who wrote the foreword to this new edition as well as to The Gate and the Tower of London which he also translated, comes into the office he says wild things like ‘Soseki’s more popular in Japan than Shakespeare and Dickens put together’ and a brief search on the internet would seem to confirm that. Kokoro is his most studied book, one of those texts which are constantly reinterpreted according to the style at the time. I read it in the old and also rather pretty hardback edition and am happy to say that it is a truly wonderful novel. My only regret is not translating the name for the new edition – in English it would be ‘Heart’. Don’t get much more evocative than that, do you?

For some reason, possibly due to the way this browser weaves/surfs (technical term anyone?), I can't insert links into the text so here they all are at the bottom:

The Complete Review, review:

Kokoro, The Gate and Tower of London

No comments: