Friday, May 22, 2009

Kawabata's "Beauty and Sadness"

This is a quick, easy read. Maybe. Well, it was for me. Reading it, into sleep, three afternoons in a row. And, waking up, later, covered in sweat. And ditto those same three nights. The chair I read in, you see, makes me sweat.

This is a beautiful book. And it's haunting. Especially Keiko who is the lotus in the flames. And the book for me is all Lotus in Flames. All the characters are ruled (or defined anyways) by passion.

And they are, again and again, wrong about the other characters. They are constantly selfish. Making assumptions. Being wrong.

It's fascinating, really. And haunting, like I said.

Kawabata is such a clever writer.

But, often, as I read this book I was reminded (and have been since also. that comes with the haunting) of what I remember to be superior: his Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. That really glows in me.

Maybe when I go back to those stories they'll disappoint. Hell, that's almost definitely what's going to happen. Maybe I won't go back to them.

A dead newborn in a pool of water.

The image of a premature baby...It flickered in the wintry groves of trees, and in the depths of the green pool.

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