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The Master of Go (1954)

by Yasunari Kawabata

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1413113,421 (4.01)71
Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, Go is an essential expression of the Japanese spirit. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and heretofore invincible Master and a younger, more modern challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century. The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otaké, is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath the game's decorum lie tensions that consume not only the players themselves but their families and retainers--tensions that turn this particular contest into a duel that can only end in death. Luminous in its detail, both suspenseful and serene, The Master of Go is an elegy for an entire society, written with the poetic economy and psychological acumen that brought Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker… (more)
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» See also 71 mentions

English (29)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Книга течет как-то размеренно, я б даже сказал медленно. Но в последних главах темп резко возрастает и после того, как закрываешь последнюю страницу - как будто пережил извержение вулкана: только что был ад и огонь, а теперь тишина!

Я любитель игры Го. По мере чтения этой книги я разбирал описываемую партию пытаясь тем самым лучше вникнуть в события. Возможно, по этой причине книга меня увлекла за собой. Хотя примерно до середины было как-то неуютно ее читать :) . Но оно того стоило.

( )
  akoiushev | Nov 10, 2021 |
Go é um jogo de estratégia em que dois jogadores tentam cercar as pedras pretas ou brancas um do outro. Simples em seus fundamentos, infinitamente complexo em sua execução, Go é uma expressão essencial do espírito japonês. Baseado em escritos para um jornal, crônica de uma partida disputada entre um mestre reverenciado e até então invencível e um desafiante mais jovem e moderno, Kawabata capturou o momento em que as tradições imutáveis ​​do Japão imperial enfrentaram o ataque não somente da modernidade do século XX, mas também, metaforicamente a derrota japonesa na segunda guerra. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Sep 17, 2021 |
This is one of those niche books that you really, really have to be into the subject matter to get anything at all out of it. It tells the story of the final game of go/Igo/weiqi/baduk(they're all one and the same game) between an old Master and an up and coming young challenger that took place in 1938. It was the Master's retirement game and the story is written in a semi-fictional way, although the game itself happened just as it's related here I believe. It's quite a sad story, and manages to convey a terrific sense of battle with all the excitement, sadness, tension and loss that goes with it.

Excellent, but only if you're into playing 'go'. ( )
  SFGale | Mar 23, 2021 |
While beautifully written, you really should know about the game GO to really appreciate this book about one match. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Mar 16, 2021 |
With no such intention in mind, I rather fell out of the frying pan on this one. I had to get away from Yourcenar and a glance at the shelves made me think nothing could be further from Hadrian than a book about Go.

My very first Go move, and it’s a mistake.

Continue here: http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-master-of-go-by-yasuna... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yasunari Kawabataprimary authorall editionscalculated
Felstead, CathyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frankenhuysen, Annemarie vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seidensticker, Edward G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolterbeek, VincentCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mr Kawabata has described The Master of Go as 'a faithful chronicle-novel'.

Introduction.
Shūsai, Master of Go, twenty-first in the Honimbō succession, died in Atami, at the Urokaya Inn, on the morning of January 18, 1940.
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Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, Go is an essential expression of the Japanese spirit. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and heretofore invincible Master and a younger, more modern challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century. The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otaké, is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath the game's decorum lie tensions that consume not only the players themselves but their families and retainers--tensions that turn this particular contest into a duel that can only end in death. Luminous in its detail, both suspenseful and serene, The Master of Go is an elegy for an entire society, written with the poetic economy and psychological acumen that brought Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker

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