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 -
Translated by Jay Rubin, and with an introduction from Haruki Murakami, this is bound to appeal to fans of Japanese literature.
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.