Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Miner - by Natsume Sōseki republished

Recently received an email from Aardvark Bureau/Gallic Books highlighting the great news that they're republishing The Miner by Natusme Soseki, translated by Jay Rubin, this new edition also features a 5000 word introduction by Haruki Murakami entitled A Nonchalant Journey Through Hell, some more details are here, it's great that this novel is being brought back into wider circulation and renewed readership, my post on the older edition of The Miner can be found here, some more information from the publishers -

The Miner

Natsume Sōseki
Translated by Jay Rubin, and with an introduction from Haruki Murakami, this is bound to appeal to fans of Japanese literature.
‘It makes me very happy to know that even now I can read this novel written over a hundred years ago as if it were a contemporary account and be deeply affected by it. It cannot, and should not be overlooked. It is one of my favourites.’ from the introduction by Haruki Murakami
The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well-known novel of the great Meiji writer Natsume Sōseki. An absurdist tale about the indeterminate nature of human personality, written in 1908, it was in many ways a precursor to the work of Joyce and Beckett.
The narrative unfolds within the mind of an unnamed protagonist-narrator, a young man caught in a love triangle who flees Tokyo, is picked up by a procurer of cheap labour for a copper mine, then travels toward and inside the depths of the mine, in search of oblivion. As he delves, the young man reflects at length on nearly every thought and perception he experiences along the way. His conclusion? That there is no such thing as human character. The result is a novel that is both absurd and comical, and a true modernist classic.
5 Facts About Natsume Sōseki

He features on the Japanese 1000 yen note.
He lived in London from 1901-1903.
He hated almost every minute of his stay.
There is a Sōseki museum opposite one of his homes in Clapham.
The characters Kafka and Oshima discuss The Miner in Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.


Tony Malone said...

Just published my review of this - glad to have the chance to read another of Soseki's books :)

Parrish Lantern said...

Hi I've just purchase "I am a Cat" from a charity shop near me & intend to read that soon, not heard of this one though.

me. said...

It's great that The Miner is back in an available edition again, it's one of my favourite of Soseki's, seems to have quite a unique narrative to it in comparison to the other novels that I've read by him.

I need to sit down at some point soon and read the remaining novels that I've not yet reached, will check out your post!.

me. said...

Thanks for the comment Parrish, some of Soseki's I read quite a while ago, I Am A Cat being one of them, another being the more autobiographical Grass On the Wayside which I'd like to re-read as I remember really liking it,The Miner comes highly recommended too!.

It's kind of a testament to Soseki when you think that two writers (Murakami and Oe), who were perhaps perceived at one point as being at two differing ends of contemporary Japanese writing both cite Soseki as a master of his craft, it goes to show perhaps how wide his influence is, I need to read more Soseki!.