Spring Miscellany: And London Essays

Spring Miscellany: And London Essays

by Soseki Natsume
     
 

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For the first time, English readers have access to Soseki’s Spring Miscellany. Originally published as Eijitu Shohin in serial form in the Asahi newspaper in 1909, before appearing in book form, Spring Miscellany is an pastiche of twenty-five sketches, referred to as shohin (little items), heir to the great zuihitsu tradition of discursive

Overview

For the first time, English readers have access to Soseki’s Spring Miscellany. Originally published as Eijitu Shohin in serial form in the Asahi newspaper in 1909, before appearing in book form, Spring Miscellany is an pastiche of twenty-five sketches, referred to as shohin (little items), heir to the great zuihitsu tradition of discursive prose. These personal vignettes are clearly autobiographical and reveal Soseki’s kaleidoscopic view of his private world and his interest in authentic, unadorned self-expression.

The stories range from from episodes from his youth to his adult musings. Of special interest are the accounts of Soseki’s stay in England between 1900 and 1902, where he attended University College, studied privately with W. J. Craig, editor of the Arden Shakespeare, and immersed himself in studying eighteenth-century literature. It was not a happy time for Soseki--he described his stay as “like a poor dog that had wandered into the company of wolves”--but, as with all great writers, he managed to turn adversity into raw material for his art and to give us insight today into the life of an expatriate Japanese scholar at the turn of the century.

In his Introduction to the work, Sammy Tsunematsu, founder and curator of the Soseki Museum in London, provides a fresh perspective on Soseki as a man and a writer, as well as an insightful commentary on the work itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781462901265
Publisher:
Tuttle Publishing
Publication date:
12/20/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
168
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), novelist and scholar of English literature, is widely considered the foremost novelist of the Meiji period (1868-1914). Among his works, I am a Cat and Master Darling are especially known to almost every Japanese. His portrait is printed on the Japanese 1,000-yen note. After graduating from Tokyo Imperial University in 1893, Soseki taught high school before spending two years in England on a Japanese government scholarship. He returned to lecture in English literature at the university. Numerous nervous disorders forced him to give up teaching in 1908 and he became a full-time writer for the Asahi newspaper. In addition to fourteen novels, Soseki wrote haiku, poems in the Chinese style, academic papers on literary theory, essays, autobiographical sketches , and whimsical fairy tales.

Translator Sammy Tsunematsu is the founder and curator of the Soseki Museum in London, and the translator of several of Soseki’s works. Tsunematsu has lived in Surrey, England, for nearly thirty years.

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