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The Old Capital

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Overview


The Old Capital is one of the three novels cited specifically by the Nobel Committee when they awarded Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. With the ethereal tone and aesthetic styling characteristic of Kawabata's prose, The Old Capital tells the story of Chieko, the adopted daughter of a Kyoto kimono designer, Takichiro, and his wife, Shige.

Set in the traditional city of Kyoto, Japan, this deeply poetic story revolves around Chieko who becomes bewildered and ...

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The Old Capital

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Overview


The Old Capital is one of the three novels cited specifically by the Nobel Committee when they awarded Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. With the ethereal tone and aesthetic styling characteristic of Kawabata's prose, The Old Capital tells the story of Chieko, the adopted daughter of a Kyoto kimono designer, Takichiro, and his wife, Shige.

Set in the traditional city of Kyoto, Japan, this deeply poetic story revolves around Chieko who becomes bewildered and troubled as she discovers the true facets of her past. With the harmony and time-honored customs of a Japanese backdrop, the story becomes poignant as Chieko’s longing and confusion develops.

Set against the background of Kyoto, two generations of traditional artists confronting the disorienting forces of postwar Japan with an ambivalent mixture of regret and fascination.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Whether this subtle and brooding novel, here making its first appearance in English, deserves to rank alongside Snow Country and Thousand Cranes as one of Kawabata's major works is debatable, but it contains all the Nobel laureate's most striking characteristics acute esthetic sensibility, preoccupation with the clash between old and new, pervasive melancholy and a story line suggestive of a Zen brush-and-ink painting where what is omitted is as important as what is included. Set in Kyoto, the Japanese city most symbolic of tradition, the story centers on a young woman, Chieko, who having been brought up to think her parents stole her as a baby in a fit of passionate desire is profoundly disturbed to learn (after a chance encounter with a girl who turns out to be her sister) that her real parents had abandoned her. Her identity crisis is exacerbated by her need to choose between carrying on her adoptive father's kimono-designing business, now in decay, and leaving home to marry. It's an intensely poetic story in which much is evoked, little stated or concluded. (June 20)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593760328
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 2/9/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 445,811
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Highly Recommmended

    Highly Recommmended

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

    SoooK

    I skipped a grove on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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