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The 210th Day by Natsume Sōseki

The 210th Day

by Natsume Sōseki

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381298,882 (3.25)3



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This is a short novel ... a really quick read about two guys who climb an active volcano and talk. It’s 90% dialog (based on an actual climb Natsume Soseki did with a friend). It kind of cleansed me of Faulkner’s wordy sentences but did little else. I did find the following amusing:

"What use is this water?" asks Kei, the tofu seller’s son, swirling the water around in the bath.

"What use is it? According to the formula, it should be suitable for everything. But you know, you can go on rubbing it on your navel as long as you like, it still won’t go into your stomach."

"It is extremely clear, " says the man with the prominent navel, taking up some water in his cupped hands and drinking it.

"But it has no taste, " he protests spitting it out on to the floor of the bathing establishment.

"It’s drinkable, " Roku says, drinking it greedily.

Kei stops cleaning his navel and looks out through the glass with an absent-minded air while, leaning against the edge of the bath, Roku, up to his neck in the water, is observing the other’s chest.

"You’re well built, you know. Really like someone living in the wild...."

"I’m not a tofu seller’s son for nothing. If one’s not big and strong, on can’t fight the well-born and the wealthy. It’s one against all of them."

"You talk as if you really had an enemy. Who is it at present?"

"Just anybody."

I’m easily amused... ( )
2 vote Banoo | Jul 20, 2008 |
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The 210th Day reveals another facet of Soseki's skills. Written almost entirely in dialogue form, it demonstrates Soseki's vivid imagination and his gift for striking images. It follows two friend's attempt to climb the rumbling Mount Aso as it threatens to erupt- recording their banter about their backgrounds, behaviors, and reactions to the things they see along the way. The 210th Day combines Eastern and Western genres-The western autobiography and the traditional Japanese literary diary-into a work with a unified theme and atmosphere.… (more)

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