Book Name: Snow Country(ゆきぐに)


"Snow Country" is a subjective world.

Kawabata observes and describes characters from the perspective of his unique new feeling. This "new feeling" has many similarities with the works of western modernist schools: it is unrealistic, and the characters and the environment are highly subjective and spiritual. Its basic mood is negative, nothingness and harmony. Boring.

However, the feeling of "Snow Country" is more mainly an Oriental-style feeling and a Zen feeling. This has more differences from Western modernist works: Western modernism is social, and "Snow Country" is super-social The environment of "Snow Country" itself has the isolation of the isolated era and the general society; Western modernism is critical, and "Snow Country" inherits the tradition of "sorrow without grievance" in Japanese literature, not only without any social criticism, It does not even show conflicts and contradictions, so as to pursue the harmony and neutrality of the oriental tradition.

The characters in Western modernist works are often people who are crushed and squashed by society, while the characters in The Snow Country seek detachment and chasing. The basic sentiment of western modernism is nihilism, which is a negativity of no value and nothing to return to, and the nihilism in "Snow Country" is to abandon and stay away from reality, get rid of the secular bondage, and find and pursue The realm of high beauty, the realm of spirit.

Just like what Shimura did, stay away from family members and go to a "snow country" like a paradise to experience the spiritual freedom and the spiritual void. This void is the blend of subject and object, thus destroying us as nothing. It is in this sense that Kawabata Yasunari solemnly stated in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: "Some critics say that my work is nothing, but this is not the same as what the West calls nihilism. I think both The fundamental spirit is different.


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