Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

“It was a stern night landscape. The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night colour… the whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.”
~ Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country

Another book I’ve been reading for @simondavidthomas’s #1947club. SNOW COUNTRY by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata is a beautiful and powerful story of doomed love set amidst the majestic mountains of Japan. Kawabata has been compared to classic haiku masters, using words and descriptions to convey a consciousness of beauty through opposites. Even though the main story of the novel is quite heartbreaking, Kawabata is able to paint scenes of beauty throughout by describing the resplendence of the snow country.

Having completed the novel, I do think reading this for a class or for coursework at university would have been intriguing. I feel there was so much, I may have missed, being unfamiliar with various parts of the Japanese culture; the role and history of the geisha in traditional Japanese writing, and a significant theme of colors throughout the novel, in particular, the colors, red, white and black as well as other themes and imagery.

The novel does have an underlying tone of gloom and hopelessness throughout, which may be off putting for some. But, if you enjoy rich descriptions of beautiful landscape and the study of raw human emotion, this is worth a read.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review can also be found on Goodreads here

You can find this book available in paperback through Amazon

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    1. I think you’d really enjoy it, Resh! The imagery is beautiful and it is a very peaceful and slow moving novel. I’d actually like to read more literature from Japan. If you have any recommendations, I’d love them!

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