Prufrock's Page

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kawabata's Challenge

In the New Statesman, Jason Cowley writes of his admiration for Nobel Prize-winner Yasunari Kawabata:

"Influenced by the formal austerity and sparse, fragile lyricism of haiku, he is a miniaturist: he compresses where others seek to inflate and enlarge. His is a fiction of extreme economy, even of emptiness. Like the youthful Hemingway or, more recently, Kazuo Ishiguro, who has written of the influence of Kawabata on his own fiction, he leaves much unsaid and unexplained. To read him is to enter into an extended act of collaboration: Kawabata challenges you to interpret and imagine, to colour in and shade the empty spaces of his stories. Worked on and revised over many years, sometimes published as magazine extracts or episodically, his novels do not end so much as expire, in defiance of conventional expectations of narrative resolution and closure."


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