Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) Kawabata lived over three eras (Meiji, Taisho, Showa) :meaning Japanese emperor had changed three times in his life period MEIJI ERA (1868-1912) Meiji-Revolution which occurred in the latter half of the 19th century- led Japan to be modern country TAISHO ERA (1912-1925) World War I begins in 1914 SHOWA ERA (1925-1989) A period of suffering- Economic depressed spread World War II begin in 1939 and end in 1945
National Seclusion (1639-1869) Over 200 years of long seclusion marginalized Japan from other countries Japanese own culture has developed Kawabata developed a unique style combining elements of traditional and modern literature
Modernism was one of the literary movement in 20th century Kawabata was involved with European modernism Kawabata saw: Literature as Style The writer as Introvert Life as a rupture of expected continues and all human relations = ultimately substantial
Shimamura – enjoys the affection with Komako, but never gets serious. Be attracted by Yoko somehow. Komako – Geisha. Hosts Shimamura, and falls in love with him. Has a fiance, who dies in the story. Yoko – a girl from Komakos town. A lover of Komakos fiance.
The Long Tunnel here is metaphorically his life. -if you keep going you will eventually get out of the tunnel, but how is he gonna face the world after the tunnel: the snow country.
can be metaphorically things he faces. - The cold air(harsh world) - A beautiful but slender and undependable girls(Komako and Yoko) like snow - Moments of momentary beauties - His impassive and cold heart
Here, it is white and laying under the night sky. It sounds like a lady sleeping in the darkness: Geisha, which is Komako. Geisha always put Oshiroi on their face.
Shimamura wants to enjoy his life in the Snow Country. But there is always a signal stop. -He has family back home -Komako is Geisha -He starts to like Yoko, too.
Yokos face, bonfire in a mountain and snowscape. The fire of Komakos passion and the snow of Shimamuras lethargy. Yoko falling down from the second floor of the house caught on fire at the end of the story.
Shimamura uses the word, Toro, which means fools errand throughout the story. Snow is like that. It melts and disappear. Very hollow. But there is something beautiful about it. This world is a pile of fools errand. When the snow piles it is beautiful, as the world is beautiful with the pile of fools errand
Shimamura – apathetical, lethargy, leading an idle life, living out of his parents inheritance. Has wife and children. Minor writer. *Identity issue Komako – lost her husband, has a fiance who is cheating on her and dies, and falls in love with Shimamura when her fiance is still alive. *Identity issue
Love -family –friends –partner Toil for Shimamura and relief for Komako -Shimamura is living out of his parents inheritance. Never had hardship. -Komako needs to sacrifice her body and soul to make a living in her whole life. Never relieved.
Trust -betraying family and fiance Self-Esteem -Shimamura has nothing to boast. – Komako has had the less-respected life.
A lot of us suffer from the lack of testimony like Shimamura(too ordinal life) So many girls try to find their identity in a relationship with guys. We are selfish, but never know how to love ourselves. A lot of us do not know or even do not think about why we are living.
Lippit, Seiji M. Topographies of Japanese modernism. Columbia University Press,2002. Rosenthal, Lucy. The world treasury of love stories. Oxford University Press,1995. Petersen, Gwenn Boardman. The Moon in the water : understanding Tanizaki, Kawabata, and Mishima. University Press of Hawaii,1992. Hibbett, Howard. Contemporary Japanese literature : an anthology of fiction, film, and other writing since 1945. Knopf :1977. Norton Anthology of World Literature, 2 nd,
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