Soseki Natsume

The Gate

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One of the central masterpieces of twentieth-century Japanese literature

The Gate describes the everyday world of the humble clerk Sosuke and his wife Oyone, living in quiet obscurity in a house at the bottom of a cliff. Seemingly cursed with the inability to have children, the couple find themselves having to take responsibility for Sosuke's younger brother Koroku. Oyone's health begins to fail, and news that her estranged ex-husband will be visiting nearby finally promotes a sense of crisis in Sosuke and forces him temporarily to quit his life of quiet domesticity.
Highly prized for the beauty of its description of the understated love between Sosuke and Oyone, The Gate has nevertheless remained in many ways mysterious. An introduction to the novel by Damian Flanagan casts fresh insights into its complex symbolism and ideas, establishing The Gate as one of the most profound works of the modern age.
The Gate joins the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, which include Kokoro, The Tower of London and the The Three-Cornered World from Peter Owen Publishers as part of an international programme to bring one of Japan's best known authors to a new English speaking audience.
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306 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Francis Mathy
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