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The Woman in the Dunes (1962)

by Kōbō Abe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,946654,418 (3.83)1 / 163
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» See also 163 mentions

English (60)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Non è la sabbia che scorre, ma forse lo stesso scorrere è la sabbia. Non riesco a spiegarmi bene.


La respirazione, il camminare, la peristalsi dei visceri, i programmi quotidiani di ricerca, le domeniche ogni sette giorni, gli esami di fine stagione ogni quattro mesi, non solo non arrivano a darci la pace, ma ci incitano nuovamente al tran tran della vita. Di giorno in giorno, poi, si aumenta la quantità del fumo, e, dopo i sogni in cui si cerca affannosamente, con una donna dalle unghie sporche, un posto tranquillo e nascosto agli occhi dei curiosi, infine ci si accorge di essere intossicati, e poi, ricordandosi a un tratto del firmamento sostenuto dai cicli dei movimenti ellittici estremamente monotoni, e delle dune comandate dalla lunghezza d'onda di 1/8 di mm, improvvisamente ci si rende conto della situazione reale.


E resto sempre perplesso dal fatto che Sisifo ritrovi sempre il masso ad aspettarlo... ( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
An existentialist Japanese novel about a man getting stuck in a village, buried by sand.

Extremely atmospheric, with the sand almost being its own character. The level of detail it is written really allows for the reader to get absorbed into the oppressive atmosphere of the sand. You can almost feel the sand stuck to your sweaty body, or taste it in your mouth. The level of detail really added a layer of realism to the story that otherwise read like some sort of hazy fever dream.

My only gripe is the main character felt like an incel at times, and some parts felt a bit "rapey" and over sexualized. Generally I don't mind unlikable characters, so it wasn't a huge deal for me, but was just a bit uncomfortable at times. ( )
  Andjhostet | Jul 4, 2023 |
Such a strange book about the prisons we live our lives in, those self-constructed and imposed by others, what we'll trade our freedom for, and how hard (or not) we'll fight to regain it. At times an incredibly frustrating book, but always a great book. I sometimes felt so violent reading this, but then would think, "What sand am I digging? Day after day?" Thinking about this book too much can be truly dangerous. ( )
  greeniezona | May 7, 2023 |
Abe's existential, post-modern fable is on a lot of 100 best lists, which is how I came to it. There's a fantasy element to the story - a visitor at a fishing village is imprisoned in a sand hole where his life is meant to be spent shoveling sand to save one of the houses in the village. Those who see a Kafka bent to the book are onto something, as the prisoner tries multiple strategies to escape, all for nought. While the book is well-written, I'm afraid the story and tone just aren't my thing.

3 bones!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Dec 27, 2022 |
Odd story. But amazing how human can adapt just to survive. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Dec 10, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kōbō Abeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abe, MachiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornips, ThérèseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, JohnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gross, AlexCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saunders, E. DaleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One day in August a man disappeared.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Es gibt wahrhaftig kein wunderlicheres, so von Neid zerfressenes Wesen wie einen Schullehrer! Da strömen die Schüler Jahr für Jahr gleich einem Fluß an ihm vorbei, nur er selber bleibt wie ein tief auf dem Grund des Flusses liegender Stein zurück. Er kann wohl anderen von Hoffnungen erzählen, aber ihm selber sind sie nicht erlaubt. Er kommt sich nutzlos vor und verfällt entweder in selbstquälerischen Trübsinn oder wird ein Moralprediger, der anderen vorschreiben will, wie sie zu leben haben. Eigenwilligkeit und Tatkraft anderer müssen ihm schon deswegen zuwider sein, weil er selber sich aus tiefster Seele danach sehnt.
"... Schriftsteller werden zu wollen, bedeutet, von Egoismus besessen zu sein; man will sich von einer Marionette dadurch unterscheiden, daß man selber als Puppenspieler in Erscheinung tritt. Insofern unterscheidet man sich nicht wesentlich von Frauen, die ein Make-up benutzen."

"Das ist zu hart formuliert! Aber wenn sie schon das Wort Schriftsteller in diesem Sinne gebrauchen, sollten Sie wenigstens bis zu einem gewissen Grad zwischen einem Schriftsteller und dem Schreiben unterscheiden!"

"Ja, genau das meine ich. Eben aus diesem Grund wollte ich Schriftsteller werden. Und wenn mir das nicht gelingt, sehe ich nicht ein, weshalb ich schreiben sollte!"
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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