Book - 2010
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Penguin Putnam
The great Japanese author’s most famous novel, in its first new English translation in half a century
No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, his most famous novel and the last he completed before his death. Published here in the first new translation in more than fifty years, Kokoro—meaning "heart"—is the story of a subtle and poignant friendship between two unnamed characters, a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls "Sensei." Haunted by tragic secrets that have cast a long shadow over his life, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt, and revealing, in the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between his moral anguish and his student's struggle to understand it, the profound cultural shift from one generation to the next that characterized Japan in the early twentieth century.

Baker & Taylor
Haunted by tragic secrets, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780143106036
Characteristics: xvi, 238 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: McKinney, Meredith 1950-


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Oct 10, 2017

Beautifully written tale about love and regret, written in the first person. "Kokoro" loosely translated means "heart." A college student becomes close to an elderly man known only as Sensei, but senses that Sensei is not being totally forthcoming. Highly recommended.

Sep 27, 2013

Beautifully translated novel on sense of self in Japan's complicated culture.

Jul 24, 2012

Really makes you think about lonliness, friendship, love and guilt. Intriguing shift of voice/context as the story progresses.


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Jun 24, 2015

My wife apparently interpreted my state of mind as a kind of ennui, a slackness of spirit that came from not having to worry about day-to-day survival. This was understandable. Her mother had enough money to allow them both to make do and my own financial situation meant meant I had no need to work. I had always taken money for granted, I admit. But the main reason for my immobility lay quite elsewhere. True enough, my uncle's betrayal had made me fiercely determined never to be beholden to anyone again - but back then my distrust of others had only reinforced my sense of self. The world might be rotten, I felt, but at least I am a man of integrity. But this faith in myself had been shattered on account of K. I suddenly understood that I was no different from my uncle, and the knowledge made me reel. What could I do? Others were already repulsive to me, and now I was repulsive even to myself. p.225


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