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In this highly charged, deeply influential novel, Wright portrays a black man squeezed by crushing circumstances who comes to understand his own identity. BMC 9 KK 2. The two discuss the true self that is not destroyed in death and states of release from the human realm of suffering. As a cornerstone of Hindu faith and yogic philosophy, the Bhagavadgita has had a profound impact on philosophical and religious traditions in both the East and West. Abbott One day in August a man disappeared.
The man was an entomologist and had set out into the desert with a canteen of water and a pack filled with the tools he used to collect specimens. It was his hope to discover an as yet unknown species of insect that lived in the sand dunes. Abe, trained as a medical doctor, writes as a clinician, dispassionately and with exactitude.
In the dunes his hero, Niki Jumpei, falls captive to the enigmatic woman from whom he seeks shelter for a night. Every day Jumpei must join the inhabitants in their necessary work: shoveling away the sand that threatens to bury them and their homes.
The Woman in the Dunes transcends the form of allegory—often lifeless and didactic—to engage its readers to the point of discomfort. Two years before Nigeria won its independence from Britain, Achebe published this clear-eyed novel set in the years leading up to colonial rule. Loosely based on the life of Cambridge spy Anthony F. Snappy puns, clever palindromes, stream of consciousness insights, and brilliant non sequiturs fill the dialogue bubbles of this surreal collection of comic strips that chronicle the epistemological adventures of a faceless baby named Leviathan, his wise pet Cat, and his favorite toy Bunny.
Sigmund Freud, Emily Dickinson, and St. Also a poet, Brand wrote sensitively about mental illness when the topic was still taboo. Bitchiness, bile, and sexual braggadocio vie in this gossipy, literary vivisection of high society. Cartmell and Charles Grayson At that time I only had four dollars, and spending over half of it on one book, even a hardcover, was a tough decision.
Yet the house, a symbol of the past, keeps beckoning Godfrey St. Peter, a professor in his mid-fifties whose outward success at work and home mask a passionless heart. But it had never occurred to him that he might have to live like that. PCam 9 ES 1. A terribly shocking book in its day, The Awakening tells the story of an artistic, twenty-eight-year-old New Orleans woman who finds life with her husband and two children unfulfilling.
On summer holiday, she has an affair with a younger man. Revived, she leaves her family. But her happiness is short lived as she is punished by a society that has little tolerance for such independent women. Coetzee Fifty-two years old and twice divorced, Professor David Lurie thought the affair with his student might bring passion back to his life. Instead, it costs him his job and his friends when he refuses to repent his sin. But his tranquil oasis is shattered by racial violence in this uncompromising novel by the South African Nobel laureate.
A magistrate for an unspecified empire finds himself thrust into a growing conflict on the frontier. Clyde Griffiths wants to be more than just the son of a Midwestern preacher. Leaving home, he follows a path toward the American Dream that is littered with greed, adultery, and hypocrisy. In this disquieting social novel, Clyde faces a moral dilemma that reveals the corruption of his soul and the materialistic culture that seduces him.
BMC 2 EF 8. In this wild, oddball novel, Lily and Art Binewski purposely create a family of freaks and geeks by procreating under the influence of experimental drugs. This formally unique, dense, National Book Award—winning novel is composed almost entirely of dialogue and reads like a stream of conversation. This novella tells the story of Athena and Dexter, a long married couple with a severely handicapped child whose predictable lives are stirred if not quite shaken when Dexter runs into an old friend, Elizabeth, who introduces three charming, if chaotic hangers-on into their lives.
Here is everything you could want in a novel about ancient Rome: warfare and spectacle, scandal and intrigue and still more intrigue. It is soap opera on an epic scale, dramatizing the fall of Roman republican ideals. Barry Hannah can make readers laugh about the grimmest subject while never for a second losing sight of the essential horror.
In this story collection, the Mississippi writer creates a cast of scarred, hyperkinetic characters—including a Confederate soldier recalling the tragedy and glory of war to a contemporary man obsessed with his estranged wife—who are stumbling toward illumination. Great chess players used to test their skills by playing several matches at once. James examines one of his signature themes—the terrible vulnerability of love to betrayal—in this vertiginous, psychologically acute work.
TM 4 RPri 6. Lawrence This sexually ambiguous, daring archaeologist fascinates us for the same reason we still read The Iliad: our need for stirring examples of grace under pressure. Henrik, a nobleman of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Konrad, a humble man with ambition, became best friends in military school. Then, one night, their relationship ruptured. Forty-one years pass until they meet again before the embers of a fading fire, where they probe their relationship and their lives.
Truth, trust, and hope serve as plot and protagonist in this often comic, philosophical novel that anticipated postmodernism by a century. Many sagas novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of love and war creates haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of remarkably vivid characters.
Through the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet. The Third Policeman is that rare and lovely thing—a truly hallucinatory novel, shot through with fierce logic and intellectual rigor.
It is a lyrical, amoral, funny nightmare: the most disciplined and disturbing product of an always interesting writer. His sins grow with him, making a logical progression from book theft to burglary and murder—all this against a heightened version of poor, rural Ireland: a setting layered with absurd but weirdly recognizable detail.
He then stumbles into a potentially fatal alternative reality: a haunting, teasing Irish countryside of parlors and winding roads from which it seems impossible to return. And there is always the dark humor that both excuses and condemns us. His imprisonment and threatened execution seem even more troubling because they are nonsensical, perhaps even kind. Slowly it becomes clear that, among other things, this novel is about hell—a much-deserved, amusing, irrational, and entirely inescapable hell.
Beyond this, The Third Policeman is genuinely indescribable: a book that holds you like a lovely and accusing dream. Which will be the truth. ALK 8 AO 2. The Nobel Prize—winning master of menacing understatement subtly links exfoliating, abstract power struggles with banal domestic situations in two of his finest plays. The interrogation and abduction of a helpless and perhaps guiltless tenant makes The Birthday Party simultaneously celebrated as an ironic mockery of the phenomena of survival and continuity.
The result is opaque, disturbing, enthralling drama. The author uses a stream of consciousness technique to describe the fraught experiences and often choked-off feelings of a Spanish shopkeeper during the s and s as her nation becomes gripped by civil war and fascism. The play has a kind of baroque richness to both plot and language as Antony and Cleopatra delight in seclusion while the Roman forces opposing them, led by the sober and ambitious Octavius Caesar, close in on the lovers.
Cornered, the emperor and queen bring the play to a suicidal climax that exquisitely fuses sexual pleasure and death. The novel unspools thirty years of relationships, illuminating small town life in Maine and the pain, panic and yearning of its people.
Serialized during wartime, this epic novel chronicles the decline of the Osaka family and the transformation of traditional Japanese society. As their fortunes wither, elder sisters Tsuruko and Sachiko try to preserve the family name and marry off the talented, sensitive Yukiko. Tanizaki uses detailed descriptions of Japanese traditions, such as the tea ceremony, to underscore their fleetingness in an era of rapid modernization.
The desperate alcoholism of Gervaise Lantier and her husband held a mirror to the shocking moral condition of the urban poor. Nana is a low-born courtesan who succeeds among the French elite. Zola meant his heroine to represent the corruption of the Second Empire under the twin stresses of hedonism and capitalism. But like some uncontrollable genie uncorked from a bottle, she becomes the greatest femme fatale since Helen of Troy.
The most explicit of the classic nineteenth-century novels, Nana exists in the vital midpoint between Anna Karenina and Valley of the Dolls. Though their origins are vague—Aesop may have been born a slave in Asia Minor in b. Its core narrative relates the clashes between two groups of royal Indian cousins—one descended from gods, the other from demons.
War, disguises, asceticism, drunken brawls, and the god Dharma as a dog swirl through this magical panorama of ancient India, which also includes the famous sermon Bhagavadgita, the Hindu equivalent to the New Testament. In The American Dream he lambasts that concept in a one-act farce featuring an over-the-top dysfunctional family and a murder. In The Zoo Story, a psychotic loner cannily provokes a complacent bourgeois into killing him. A profound story of Christian faith constructed of the thoughts, half-thoughts, jottings, and observations, the joys and disappointments, of a priest in provincial France.
The protagonist suffers through the novel—he is a martyr to a dark, often wicked world. But as he declines, the grace he receives builds. One of the great critiques of Victorian society and morality, this autobiographical novel charts the Pontifex family over several generations. In conversations with a chance acquaintance, a once-successful Paris lawyer recounts his fall into psychological self-destruction after ignoring a woman drowning in the Seine. Ultimately, this existential antihero persuades himself that all good works are motivated by self-interest, all virtue merely a ploy for success or popularity.
With no hope of redemption, he descends into debauchery and profligacy, impatient for the relative simplicity of death. Dermout was sixty-seven years old when she debuted with this semiautobiographical novel about a Dutch woman named Felicia raising her son in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Her love of life and nature is challenged by violence and murder that bring sadness and summon the courage of resilience.
Myshkin a scarcely disguised self-portrait of the author tries again and again to help the people he encounters, only to have his efforts mocked or misunderstood. On the surface a love story, the novel is a contemplation of goodness in the world, and while its conclusions are dark, the portrait of this simple, good man endures. LShriv 3 BU 6. His stories are shot through with brutal violence and alcohol, characters whoalternate between sanctity and transgression, and tough moral choices.
Familial duty has seldom been so sadly rendered, and Eliot drew much from her own childhood in creating Maggie Tulliver and her self-righteous brother Tom. Passionate Maggie gives up her lover out of propriety and deference to Tom, but the character was thought so wicked that many nineteenth-century girls were forbidden to read this book.
Despite having lived with a married man herself, Eliot dealt Maggie a harsh fate. What would you do if the man who promised you love, children, and a throne, after convincing you to slay your brother and exile yourself from your home, decided to marry a richer woman instead?
That she is not punished for this deed is a stunning conclusion to this riveting play. The title poem is considered the signature poem of the Beat generation. What can be seen as a manifesto against the conformist society of America in the s can also be read as a love poem for the promising idea of America.
In a fleabag Scottish motel, divorced and depressed, Jock McLeish once again seeks consolation and strength through massive doses of alcohol and sadomasochistic sexual fantasies some starring a woman named Janine. Through frank, complex language Gray takes us inside the addled mind of a powerless man seeking to impose some control over his life.
In the first chapter Michael Henchard sells his wife and child at a country fair. When he meets his forsaken wife Susan and daughter Elizabeth-Jane years later, he is no longer a drunken hay-trusser but mayor of his town. Henchard has improved his position in life but not his disposition, and this tragedy of misplaced pride, torturous guilt, and immense bitterness is vintage Hardy. Nick Guest is a young gay man desperate for love, the son of a modest antiques dealer who wants to climb the social ladder.
The original desperate housewife, pampered Nora Helmer commits forgery for the money she needs to take her sick husband on a lifesaving trip. When her husband discovers her deceit, he is appalled. A brilliant literary colorist, adept with rich jewel tones, earthy pigments, and deep chiaroscuro alike, Mann recalls the Dutch Masters in his painterly command of bourgeois interiors and intimate domestic scenes.
In equally lucid detail, often with tongue in cheek, he probes the psychological depths of his characters as they follow the arc from Enlightenment vigor to Romantic decadence in this sprawling family saga bristling with comedy and pathos. Mann probes the complex tensions between aesthetics and morality, culture and politics, in his trademark dense, precise, endlessly qualified prose.
JB 7 RPri 2. Tartuffe, for example, the Christian hypocrite who attempts to seduce a young virgin, inhabits the same plane of immortality as Falstaff or Don Quixote. The first miracle: A novel built from a strictly limited construction—the description of one single moment in a Paris apartment building—blossoms into an encyclopedia of stories and life spanning centuries, the globe, the history of literature.
The second miracle: A moving, humane novel composed of implausible, even impossible parts. Published in , Life is infinitely entertaining, but it also can change how you see your surroundings; the wall between novel and world leaks. If Perec can imagine four paintings and their histories reproduced inside yet another painting, and the wallpaper against which that work hangs, and the life of the man who selected the wallpaper, then suddenly the world outside the book more proudly displays its own wondrous plumage, imagined by some creator even more ingenious than Perec.
Powers Joe Hackett wanted to be a saint. Her peculiar genius is to make these unpromising creatures the centerpieces of her work. PCam 4 CS 5. KHarr 2 AWald 7. Henry thus construed is a great national hero. But the play actually subverts, or at least compromises, such a reading. We see Henry collude with the church to prosecute a vicious campaign for nationalistic, rather than necessary, reasons. The brave king broods on the burdens of kingship and the righteousness of his cause, but then casually orders the slaughter of French prisoners.
The epilogue looks forward to the reign of Henry VI, who lost all that Henry V gained and more, as if to question the worth of all this killing. Othello centers on the black general of the Venetian army and his white wife, Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian senator. A brave and successful warrior essential to the security of Venice, Othello is extremely susceptible to jealousy, a weakness exploited by the villain Iago, whom Othello passes over for a lieutenancy in favor of another.
Young John Hawkins was told to beware a man with one leg. But after discovering a treasure map, he acquires a ship and hires—you guessed it—one-legged Long John Silver to cook for his ship and hire the crew, a band of villainous pirates. In beautiful, perceptive prose suggestive of its subject, this novel brings readers inside the conflicted mind and soul of Henry James.
Set between and , when a mid-career James was reassessing his life, the novel flows with memories of his youth and accomplished family members. What emerges is the portrait of a man determined to avoid complications—especially those posed by homosexuality; who wrestles with his need to turn his life into art, and his desire to push away life so he can create his art. DMcF 4 AS 5. The energy of the Icelandic sagas blends with an immensely detailed panorama of fourteenth-century life.
Hollywood is not alluring in this savage, apocalyptic novel about fame and its perversions. Painter Tod Hackett comes to Hollywood to design sets and find success. Instead, he finds a population of the physically and psychically maimed crouching at the edges of the film industry, desperately believing that only luck and time separate them from stardom. At the end, their disappointment explodes into violence and Tod sums up his despair with his single great painting: The Burning of Los Angeles.
Set in the once working-class French Quarter of New Orleans, Williams tells the story of Blanche DuBois, an alcoholic relic of the waning genteel South, and her brother-in-law, the sensuous working-class brute Stanley Kowalski.
Their mutual attraction and repulsion drive the conflict in this sexually frank, lyrical melodrama about the boundaries between illusion and reality and the changing South. Aubyn The tension becomes almost unbearable as Rastignac wrestles with his conscience and readers confront Vautrin, whose contempt for conventional morality prefigures every existential hero since.
The first great love story in English, this epic poem tells the story of what befell two lovers, Criseyde and Troilus, during the Trojan war. Her pledge of eternal fidelity to Troilus is broken when she is seduced by the Greek warrior Diomedes. Is she a tramp or a victim of circumstances? Happily married with one child, Eliot Nailles is a chemist working to make better mouthwash.
Chekhov helped transform the theater through his pioneering use of indirect action—the gunshot fired offstage—and his ability to develop themes not just through dialogue but by creating a mood or atmosphere on stage. He was also a master of characterization. These skills are apparent in this wonderfully complex play, set on an estate in nineteenth-century Russia, which details the relationships among family members who look back on their lives with regret.
A retarded, nearly mute, harelipped man goes native in a South Africa torn by civil war, living off the land before being picked up and passed among institutions. However, Jim violates the code one life-defining night when, in a panic, he abandons his sinking ship while the passengers sleep. Often now misread as a condemnation of terrorism, The Secret Agent is really an ironic critique of abstract ideology and careerist bureaucracy—both forces that use and crush the individual.
Instead he hits Mary Dempster, who soon gives birth, prematurely, to a boy with birth defects. In the humorless martinet Gradgrind, who preaches and practices uncompromising logic and efficiency, Dickens lampoons the soulless utilitarianism of Victorian philosopher John Stuart Mill. Here she uses Anthony Keating, a former BBC official turned failed real estate developer, to explore the gloomy interregnum between the go-go s and the more seriously materialistic Thatcher era, when the cozy values of old England were growing increasingly shabby without any new values to replace them.
Dionysus seduces Pentheus into witnessing a Bacchanalian orgy, where he is torn to pieces by the revelers, including his own mother. The comic trouble starts when a naive footman rejects the advances of his employer, Lady Booby, and her servant, Slipslop. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, the world rewards their goodness with violent complication. The year is and, it seems, reason is finally giving the heave-ho to faith. Though he has made a pledge of celibacy, he is now in love and so must puzzle the questions of chaos and order, fate, chance, and the wonders of the soul in this funny, sharp novel of ideas.
Here, Glasgow depicts the declining fortunes of two tradition-bound Virginia families, the Archibalds and the Birdsongs. Through young Jenny Blair Archibald, she represents the possibility of feminine independence in this penetrating account of southerners being forced into the modern era.
In this bleak but moving novel, class barriers stymie Jude, a self-educated stonemason and would-be scholar, while convention damns his lover Sue, a pagan protofeminist. TM 6 LShriv 2. Imitation is the most annoying form of flattery for archfiend Dr. Hannibal Lecter in this terrifying predecessor to The Silence of the Lambs. Red Dragon describes the original capture of cannibalistic serial killer Lecter and his subsequent indignation on hearing that another monster is imitating his sadistic methods.
Harris skillfully leaves open who is manipulating whom when Lecter agrees to help the FBI track down the copycat, who matches Lecter eye for eye—literally. Set before and during World War II, Shining Through mixes romance with espionage as a poor girl from Queens marries the most handsome lawyer on Wall Street and eventually is sent on a secret mission to wartime Berlin.
After a nuclear war devastates the planet, residents of what had been the Florida Keys try to rebuild their lives and communities in a landscape where shards from the obliterated past—religious stories, Jimi Hendrix records, parking decks—remain but are barely understood.
Gregor is not dreaming; he really has become a bug who hides under the sofa to keep from horrifying his mother, and who is pummeled with apples and cursed by his father. The strange magic of the story is the way Kafka sustains our empathy with this creature, such that the bizarre and claustrophobic scenes intensify, and even haunt, our awareness of human vulnerability.
A pastiche that deliberately recalls the narrative games of Tristram Shandy, this novel uses seven thematically linked tales as well as forays into philosophy, musicology, literary criticism, and autobiography to explore the permeable borders between Eastern and Western Europe, eroticism and banal libertinism, and the public versus the private, which Kundera sees as the shrinking, doomed cradle of civilization.
It shows the planning and politics of the insurrection, the street battles that accompanied it, and the successful, remorselessly cruel nationalist counterattack the nationalist general throws captured communists in the furnaces of a train. When the book was published in , the Chinese revolution looked kaput. When the communists triumphed in , it seemed prophetic. Like a late nineteenth-century Tom Wolfe, Maupassant reveals the codes and rivalries of social success by chronicling the rise of Georges Duroy, a handsome, down on his heels ex-soldier.
Georges rewards his friend by coveting his wife, Madeleine, a smart, energetic free spirit who seems like Madame Bovary—after successful therapy. When her husband dies, Georges proposes literally over his corpse. But soon he is looking even higher. Seeking escape, Norwood decides to find an old Marine buddy who owes him seventy dollars. After terrorists blow up their plane, two Indian actors fall from the sky. When they land, one has a halo, the other horns. This lush, lyric, sensual, and surreal novel then follows two main interrelated plots that skate along the blurry lines between good and evil, love and betrayal, knowledge and ignorance.
The tension mounts when Moreau learns his adversary hopes to wed his beloved. Sebald During decades of travels through Europe, a nameless architectural historian accidentally keeps meeting Austerlitz, a neurasthenic architect who is incrementally confronting his buried connection to the Holocaust. Incantatory and almost vertiginous in its repetitiveness, this one-paragraph novel depicts the struggle of a personal narrative to melt the frozen memory of collective trauma.
This parable about the parent—child bond features an apple tree that gives and gives and a boy who takes and takes. As the boy matures, his needs become harder to meet. But the tree never fails, ultimately sacrificing life and limb. Comic and tragic, the story moves with symphonic grace toward its final denouement.
These beautifully structured stories are vast in range, moving from supernatural tales to historical stories of love. Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in , is especially good at portraying the little moments of daily life and creating vivid characters—often the poor and dispossessed in his native India—that continue to haunt us.
Tom even manages to eavesdrop on his own funeral. The way he convinces his friends to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing his fence proves that he is a trickster for the ages. And white lies are even more complicated, as two young Englishmen of leisure learn when they try to avoid undesirable social obligations by claiming their noble services are required by needy and imaginary friends.
This searing story of two sisters, both destined for unhappiness, and their unfolding lives, is riveting. The novel follows the sisters, children of divorce, over four decades. Sarah settles into an unhappy marriage while Emily is torn by one love affair after another, and her burgeoning job success begins to fade out along with her romantic prospects. The ending, as Emily begins her slow spiral down is shocking and somehow inevitable. Gorgeously written, this book deserves to find a new audience.
These tales of medieval chivalry, romance, and high adventure composed primarily from the twelfth through fifteenth centuries feature a host of iconic characters: Sir Galahad, Lancelot, Mordred, Guinevere, Merlin, and the Lady of the Lake. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: for girls who grew up reading about these four sisters, the names run together as readily as John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Readers get their pick of heroines: motherly Meg, harum-scarum Jo, goodness-personified Beth, or naughty Amy.
Cared for by their saintly mother, Marmee, while their father is away fighting in the Civil War, the sisters get into scrapes, go on larks, find love, and suffer loss. TBiss 6 RW 1. Austen doubled her heroines here, giving us the down-on-their-luck Dashwood sisters. Following the painful end of an eight-year lesbian relationship, Barnes crafted this avant-garde novel that explores love, desire, and obsession in rich lyric prose. Set mostly in Paris during the years between the world wars, Nightwood revolves around the mysterious Robin Vote and the two lovers she abandoned: her German husband, Baron Felix Volkbein, and an American woman, Nora Flood.
Heartbroken and confused, the spurned lovers seek advice from a most unlikely source, an alcoholic transvestite named Dr. Moses Herzog has two problems: his book on imagination and the intellect has stalled and his second wife has run away with his best friend.
This is the first novel featuring hard-boiled Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe, a tough guy with a fast gun and a quick wit. CH 4 RBP 3. In this gloomy Russian drama, the youthful hopes of siblings Olga, Masha, and Irina Prozorov curdle with time into the desperate sins and bitter resentments of later life.
Often called a play in which nothing happens, The Three Sisters—one of four major dramas written by Chekhov at the end of his life—is actually a masterly study in dramatic texture, its voices and themes counterpointing each other as if they were notes in an orchestral piece. The trilogy moves outward: The first novel creates a series of characters that are real grotesques, offering vignettes of adultery, drunkenness, and destroyed dreams.
Life gets no easier in the second novel, but Big Lucien Letourneau, who runs an automobile junkyard, displays a rare and generous compassion. The third novel, which has the most political overtones, echoes the legend of Robin Hood to suggest how Egypt, Maine, and her people have been exploited. Infused with the radical politics of the s and s and littered with newspaper excerpts, stream of consciousness prose, and biography, this triptych weaves an epic American narrative tapestry.
Mixing newspaper reportage with fiction long before the word postmodern gave academics something to write about, U. NM 5 RBP 2. While the title suggests a rational universe, this novel focuses on the jarring dislocations of three women who meet at Cambridge in the s. Expatriate experience and cultural contrasts energize the knowing, roomy fiction of the native Canadian, sometime Parisian, master.
The comedians—who hide their true identities behind masks—include Mr. Brown, a failed art swindler and now inheritor of a waning imperial hotel, Mr. Jones, a con man, and the oblivious Mr. Smith, who dreams of establishing a vegetarian center on the troubled island.
As Greene contrasts these schemers with men combating Duvalier, he delivers a gripping geopolitical novel that packs a moral punch. The story of a good man enmeshed in love, intrigue, and evil in a West African coastal town. Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife, Louise, for whom he cares with a fatal pity.
When Scobie falls in love with the young widow Helen, he finds vital passion again yielding to pity, integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor—a vortex leading directly to murder. As Scobie's world crumbles, his personal crisis makes for a novel that is suspenseful, fascinating, and, finally, tragic. LShriv 7. Over the course of a festive summer in the Italian countryside, Sophie, who is half English and half Italian, has an affair with Tancredi, an Italian who is separated from his wife and family.
Like Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary, Hedda Gabler is trapped in a loveless marriage, which she entered into for security and cannot leave for fear of scandal. PCle 3 VV 4. By the time McMurphy learns that he is now under the cruel control of Nurse Ratched and the asylum, he has already set the wheels of rebellion in motion.
White This inspiringly sad story of misfits in a working-class Georgia town is attuned to the racial and social dynamics of the Depression-era South. Yet, McCullers also conveys a pervasive loneliness and desperation broader than any given historical moment.
A broken Everyman, Willy Loman is about to be fired from his job as a traveling shoe salesman. A withering assault on the American Dream, the play is an affecting portrait of a man unable to understand the forces that have shaped his life. The beautiful princess Elizabeth is about to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon destroys her castle, burns her clothes and kidnaps Ronald. The clothes-less Princess—and proto-feminist heroine—dons a large paper bag and hunts down the dragon and her cherished prince.
Gritty realism, social conscience, and American dreams power this tale of an oafish mineworker who becomes an unlicensed dentist in San Francisco. He marries a young woman and together they share a happy life, until she wins a small fortune in the lottery. This luck enflames their greed and the envy of their friends, leading to ruin for all and to one of the most memorable climaxes in literature: two men—one alive, one dead—handcuffed to one another in Death Valley.
His versions of Orpheus, Narcissus, Pygmalion, and Hercules have been etched in our collective memory. Of all the Latin authors, Ovid, who also wrote a sex manual, is the one who never once reminds you of a marble bust. The author, a maverick cleric and observant physician, gave our modern world, at the moment of its birth in the Renaissance, its first comprehensive picture of what it was and what it could become. The world borrowed his name for its most treasured and common kind of humor: Rabelaisian, meaning rowdy, rude, satirical, unsparing, obscene, and sometimes cruel.
As Rabelais invented a new literary form, the exorbitant picaresque satire, he invented a new language to express it. His pages are a Babel of polyglot puns, monkish obscurities, legalisms, overblown fustian, and street demotic. Lists abound: diseases and cures, body parts, herbs, geographical oddities, and cusswords in droves. At the same time, it presents an earthy panorama of daily concerns and relationships.
Unique among the great visionary works, Gargantua and Pantagruel is the only slapstick comedy. Among all comedies, it is one of the best. Rochester, the mad wife locked in the attic. Rhys said the fame this book brought her, at age 70, came too late. Truly, an essential read. Like Ernest Hemingway, Rulfo found men who are shaped by violence too fascinating to judge or condemn. Set in the period around the Mexican Revolution, his short stories use pared down prose to portray peasants who are seized sometimes by historical forces and given the opportunity to create and destroy on a mass scale.
More usually, they decimate or are decimated in miserable increments. Seemingly unrelated, the sketches weave a strange tapestry of grief, tranquility, nostalgia, and despair. Seuss This picture book is a poignant environmental fable about a beautiful forest of Truffula trees destroyed for the sake of the mass production of curious garments called Thneeds. Despite its hopeful title, this coming-of-age story set in offers an unflinching look at poverty, cruelty, sex, and death.
A coming-of-age story filled with high adventure and Scottish history, this is the story of David Balfour, an orphan sent in to live with his greedy uncle. David and another captive escape the ship. Tolkien — An Oxford medievalist, Tolkien drew on his vast knowledge of mythology, theology, and linguistics to imagine this epic trilogy.
CD 6 RPow 1. Its blustering, bumfuzzled antihero is Ignatius J. Reilly, an unintentionally hilarious, altogether deluded, and oddly endearing student of man who lives with his mother in New Orleans. Forced by a series of misadventures to finally find work, he endures stints as a pirate-clad hot dog vendor and a file clerk. The novel—the second in the Palliser series—is long. But Trollope reminds us that sometimes more is more. Wondrously, Walker gives voice to the unlikeliest of heroes—a barely literate teenager named Celie who writes letters to God as an escape from life with her monstrous stepfather.
After raping and impregnating her, he forces her to marry Mr. Hope comes in the form of Shug, Mr. If cats have nine lives, pigs have two—at least Wilbur did. This grand experiment in narrative depicts six characters—from nursery school to the brink of old age—through a series of interior soliloquies. This bawdy, funny, surreal, and encyclopedic Chinese classic stretches across chapters. Reality and illusion shift constantly in the world of Jia Baoyu, scion of the wealthy but declining Jia family.
He is a master at the arts of poetry, philosophy, and love but meets his match in his frail, beautiful cousin Lin Daiyu, one of the twelve beauties of Jinling. Its protagonist, John Wilder, is a prototypical Yates underachiever: an advertising salesman misled by delusions of an artistic career as a movie producer and hampered by inherited weaknesses, a hopeful yet doomed marriage made during the glamorous Kennedy era, and a series of breakdowns that reveal his irreversible ordinariness.
Not quite tragedy, but memorable indeed for its uncompromising, compassionate bleakness. Twice the tramps ponder hanging themselves from the branches of a nearby willow tree; twice they try to make sense of a stranger named Pozzo and his leashed servant Lucky. All the characters abide in a world peculiar for its absences: of meaning, rationality, consolation, and of course the slyly named Godot.
With sharp psychological and emotional insight, Bernhard takes readers inside the mind of his narrator as he ruminates angrily on his hosts and their other guests, picking over his memories of his relationship with them and the dead woman. This signature exploration of dislocation follows three young Americans—a married couple and their friend—journeying across the North African desert in search of deeper truths.
As their surroundings become more foreign and forbidding, they become unmoored as their connection to the world, each other, and themselves unravels in this work of deep psychological acuity. His portrait of inner-city blight rises to high tragedy as Brown paints it against the hopes of Southern blacks who came north for the promise of a better life.
Just out of jail, sixty-seven-year-old Gulley Jimson, a fast-talking, derelict painter obsessed with William Blake, works to complete his depiction of the Fall of Man in this wicked comic novel. Jimson is brilliant, irredeemable, and obnoxious. One guest stays to learn how the mariner shot the albatross, considered an omen of good luck, and doomed his ship. Though saved from death, the mariner is condemned to walk the earth and tell his story, which may be read as a Christian allegory or as a warning against defiling nature.
A cross between Charles Bukowski and John Kennedy Toole, this harrowing, hilarious autobiographical novel portrays a raw and likable barstool dreamer. He is a slovenly, all-American misfit headed for the psychiatric institution, who fills his head with all-American fantasies of fame, wealth, and beautiful women. While the Brits might be repressed at home, they seem to lose their heads and sometimes their clothes in hot, hot Italy.
This eagle-eyed satire of the Italian effect stars the wealthy and young Lucy Honeychurch, who switches hotel rooms in Florence with a lower-class British father and son and then fights her mounting attraction to the son as well as her building rebelliousness against the corset of Victorian manners. Some, like the intellectual Piggy, try to develop rules and society, but savagery takes hold and the boys revert to an order based on violence, tribalism, and eerie rites.
Shortly after San Francisco private eye Sam Spade accepts a case from a beautiful and mysterious young woman, his partner, Miles Archer, is killed. As the two cases intersect, Spade finds himself involved with an eccentric assortment of thugs and con men, all in search of the titular black statue of a falcon said to be worth millions.
Mama wants a home, her daughter Beneatha an education, and her son Walter a business. What ensues is a generational debate over values and whether or not African Americans can realize the American Dream. This is the story of a divorced woman, her disillusioned teenage son, and the events that change their lives in ways both simple and extraordinary. When Keith Rosen runs away from his Florida home - inexplicably taking along a motherless baby - his mother is perplexed and terrified.
She takes off on her own journey to find him. The novel follows their path, in a suspenseful and beautifully written story. James deeply admired Balzac. James leaves the reader to wonder which man hurt her worse: the father who told the truth or the lover who deceived her? The unpublished writer and unhappily married Isadora Wing yearns to fly free and receives her epiphany through an affair and the discovery of her own sexuality and power.
Many critics dismissed Jong as a pornographer in literary clothing; her protagonist, they claimed, was as self-absorbed as the baby boomers themselves. But the book sold millions and became a touchstone for a much greater social movement. Nineteen-year-old Lucy happily leaves her West Indian home and domineering mother to work as an au pair for a well-off and well-meaning American family.
But as she develops a new sense of self and independence, she is forced to grapple with life as an outsider, a servant, and a woman of color in a country obsessed with race yet blind to history. The second half is far more meditative as it focuses on the character Laurie—a church-goer conducting an adulterous affair—who suffers a crisis of faith that becomes a profound spiritual journey.
A later inspiration to the Beat generation, Miller offers various philosophical interludes expressing his joy in life, hostility to social convention, and reverence for women and sex, which he describes with abandon. PCle 4 JH 2. Biswas by V. Naipaul An Indian man living in Trinidad, Mr. Biswas is a tenant in some houses and an unfavored relative in others. All he wants is a home of his own. His adult son narrates this story of his monumental search for a home and all that implies.
A progressive activist and single mother who toiled beside and fought for the working class, Olsen was fifty years old when this, her first book, was published. This deceptively slim volume of four short stories contains a lifetime of experience, depicting the often anguished lives of women and their children, the difficulties of aging, and the challenges faced by immigrants.
Perhaps the funniest suicide note ever written, this novel is the last goodbye of a single New York woman. But finding a proper mate proves impossible in swinging Manhattan and her quest turns to hopeless despair in this clever, insightful, and often heartbreaking book.
Remarque drew on his military experience to craft this seminal antiwar novel. As the senseless bloodbath continues, hope turns to disillusionment, and death comes to seem a welcome reprieve in this gritty and poignant tale. As they await their release, each displays a theatrical or technical skill to be showcased at a gala ball. The trouble begins when the king of fairies interferes with the Athenian couples via his agent Puck, who administers love potions to the wrong characters.
The ensuing confusion is finally resolved in the fifth act as the royal marriage is celebrated by the performance of a hilarious piece of nonsense staged by simple guildsmen led by Bottom the weaver, whose dream gives the play its name. This groundbreaking nonfiction work by a tenth-century lady of the Chinese court uses the list as the structure for personal essays that are bold, funny, unapologetic, and cantankerous.
Taylor creates stories that are novelistic in their pacing as he digresses and speculates on alternative possibilities to the narrative at hand. Often told by men reflecting on the past, these stories suggest that time does not slay mores and ideas but reinvents them. Blaming himself for her fate, he follows her into exile in Siberia to atone for his actions and the loss of his youthful idealism. A hybrid of literary forms—poetry, prose, and drama—and a groundbreaking work of black literature, this book is a collage of portraits of African Americans from the urban North to the rural South.
From a simple premise—a proud but poor clergyman, Josiah Crawley, is accused of stealing twenty pounds—Trollope creates a web of vivid characters and intrigues while completing a monumental set of works about mid-nineteenth-century England that rival the classics of George Eliot and Charles Dickens. I remember wandering through the world literature section of my university library, feeling a bit lost, recognizing few names.
On the recommendation of my writing instructor I was searching for a Peruvian novelist named Mario Vargas Llosa. I found a coverless edition of The Green House, one with no blurbs, no review quotes, no author photo or biography. The surprises found inside, then, were complete and unforgettable.
With The Green House , Vargas Llosa began to explore the ongoing battle that started the moment European culture collided with that of the Americas. The novel is populated by all segments of Peruvian society: indigenous Indians, people of Latin origins, immigrants cast ashore on Peru for myriad reasons—from nuns and Fathers to prostitutes and pimps. It ranges from the depths of the rainforest to windblown desert outposts.
One can see the influence of Faulkner, of Sartre and Flaubert, but the manner in which Vargas Llosa transmuted Western influences to enrich his tale remains remarkable. And, I wondered, if this Peruvian writer could do this, what else might be happening out there? By inspiring that question The Green House drew me into a much more complete world of literature. Ultimately, Esther rallies against a sterile world and finds a way to live. Plath did not. JGil 1 SMK 5.
The author draws on the eight years he spent in Soviet prisons to write this harrowing novel of the Soviet gulags. Inmates and prisoners are always cold, always hungry, always scheming for crumbs, and willing to betray each other for less in this Siberian labor camp. Her story focuses on her uncle, the eccentric and irrepressible Daniel Ponder, whose poor marriages created as many problems as his generous heart.
In this short novel on the soul-sickness of mass society, a New York advice columnist with a Christ complex is laid low by his taste for married women and his belief in his own redemptive powers. The letters in Miss Lonelyhearts were based on actual missives to residents of two hotels the novelist managed in the s—letters West steamed open to read. WK 3 APat 3. As she details the stirrings of blind ethnic hatred among the Serbs and Croats, she offers a preview of nightmares to come.
Two years later she completed this intimate first-person narrative of the second-century emperor. A feminist and civil rights activist, Bambara strove to create literature that reflected the experiences of black women, the strength of black communities from the urban North to the rural South, and the challenges they faced.
Digressions, asides, and stories within stories fill this bawdy, raucous parody of eighteenth-century fiction that reimagines the life of Ebenezer Cooke, who wrote a satirical poem titled The Sot-Weed Factor in Language sizzles in this Rabelasian tale that includes one of the longest lists of insults ever committed to paper.
So Bedford sets us down, with remarkable velocity and confidence, right in the middle of the world to which she is going to devote the next pages. This is the world of Germany before the Second World War. Because Bedford published A Legacy in , her knowledge of what was to come invests the novel with an air of fragility and foreboding. Yet what is perhaps most astonishing about this astonishingly rich novel—more memorable, for me, even than E.
As always with Bellow, comedy is the handmaiden of an ultimate optimism. The linguistic virtuosity of this futuristic tale—told in nadsat, a russified English—lures us into an unwilling complicity in the drug-fueled bouts of ultraviolence committed by Alex and his droogs comrades. Cain After shedding her philandering, unemployed husband, Mildred Pierce works menial jobs to support her two children before discovering a gift for making and selling pies in Depression-era California.
These weaknesses join to form a perfect storm of betrayal and murder in this hard-boiled tale. JLB 4 MCon 1. When a drifter enters her roadside diner, a sexy young woman imagines a new life. Together they plot the murder of her boorish husband in this noir classic, in which spare prose and desperate characters raise dime-store pulp to an art form.
This prescient and humorous Czech novel—part allegory, part satire, part science fiction romp—begins with the discovery of a new species of giant newt by a sea captain in an obscure tropical bay. Initially exploited for their pearl-harvesting abilities, the newts become the objects of scientific experimentation and then a massive global slave trade before they rise up and revolt, bringing humanity to its knees.
As the Nazis bore down on Britain, Coward filled London theaters with this gay and witty farce about death. Who should appear but his first wife, dead these six years and none too happy about wife number two. Professor Jack Gladney teaches Hitler studies at the local college and trawls through the tabloid mall of American culture with his pill-popping fourth wife and their four preternaturally knowing children.
This apocalyptic cult classic amusingly and then chillingly captures how media culture has become not just our atmosphere but our food and oxygen. He is condemned to a remote prison where he finds out who framed him and about a treasure hidden on the Island of Monte Cristo. After fourteen years he escapes, finds the fortune, and returns to Paris where he dazzles the swells while seeking revenge on his enemies. Lyrical, imagistic, and structured in cumulative short passages, Duras combines the beautiful and the terrible in this slim, compelling novel.
Alfred Prufrock by T. Eliot An ancient stone ax head connects the three young protagonists in this bleak science fiction novel set around Cheshire, England, during three time periods—the Roman Empire, the English Civil War, and the present day. Their experiences echo each other in this experimental tale told almost entirely in dialogue. Packed with conspiracies, intrigues, bright language, and even more colorful characters, these novels enter the mind and mores of late Elizabethan and early Stuart England through dramatic events: Death of the Fox hinges on the rise, fall, and execution of Sir Walter Raleigh in ; The Succession re-creates the royal rivalries that surfaced as James I assumed the throne in ; Entered from the Sun focuses on the possible political implications of the murder of poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe in Accusatory, opaque, redundant—the novel is also, oddly enough, compulsively readable and perversely memorable.
Green was the pen name for British industrialist Henry Vincent Yorke, whose kaleidoscopic, impressionistic novels including cryptic plots and sentences without articles or verbs have drawn comparisons to fellow high-modernists Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and Monet.
Blindness details the terror of a blind young man confined to a room by his wife. Doting a comedy of adulterous near-misses and Nothing about two ex-lovers whose children are getting married consist almost entirely of pitch-perfect dialogue. A child of the Romantic era, Hawthorne nonetheless remained haunted by his Puritan forefathers.
He peoples them with Puritans, witches, American Indians, and revolutionaries, and narrates the fate of all with his trademark combination of lively Gothic fantasy and critical irreverence. After the dissolution of her marriage to a German prince, Eugenia Munster and her artist brother Felix visit their wealthy relatives in the countryside near Boston.
A small inheritance brings Pearl Dickenson—a smart, resourceful, and independent African American woman—to rural Maine. When one remembers how essential a feature of nearly every social Chinese enterprise hearty feasting constitutes, and of how much " make-believe " the average Chinese is capable, these distinctions will not appear excessively singular. Until quite recently the general attitude of the Japanese towards the mountains and hills which represent at least three-quarters of the area of their beautiful land, has been the combination of a semi- religious reverence for individual sacred peaks, with a universal artistic appreciation of mountain landscape.
In Mr Douglas Freshfield's charming and sug- gestive paper on "Mountains and Mankind" in the Geographical Journal for , he has pointed out that the love of mountains, as distinct from a fondness for climbing them, is by no means a taste of advanced civilisation, as has been so often supposed.
On the contrary, it is a healthy, primitive, and almost universal human instinct. With the latter, however, there is the additional and only too well founded sentiment of fear, mainly inspired by the destructive activities of the many active volcanoes of Japan. Indeed, we learn that more than a thousand years ago the authorities, alarmed by the threatening behaviour of one of these in S. The title to fame as pioneer of mountain climbing in Japan appears to be fairly equally divided between the most famous exponents of early Buddhism in its popular forms — En-no- Shokaku, and Kobo-Daishi known in his lifetime as Kukai.
En-no-Shokaku, of whom a quaintly interesting account is given in the second edition of " Murray " on Japan p. Though their teaching, called Shugendo, differs somewhat from that of other Buddhist sects, they are mainly attached to those known as Tendai and Shingon. To qualify as a yamahushi lit. The mountains most favoured by the order were Hakusan, the famous "White Mountain" of Kaga, and the wild regions of Yamato, the early home of the Japanese race.
The costume of the yamabushi usually consisted of tunic and gaiters of white hemp, with a yuikesa, or stole, thrown over the shoulders, while on the head was worn a black cloth of twelve folds, said to represent the twelve stages of Karma. Unlike ordinary Buddhist priests, the head was not shaven. They carried with them a large conch- shell called horagai similar to those used in early times by warriors as battle trumpets , which was blown in misty weather or at night to keep the band together.
On the occasion of ceremonial ascents a large wooden axe was borne as a sacred symbol, and a light alpenstock of fir, called kongo-zuye, or hinoki-zuye, octagonal in form. A box was also carried, known as oi, con- taining a picture of Fudo-Sama, who was regarded by them as the chief of the Buddhist deities. The yamabushi are sometimes seen to-day on their mountain pilgrimages, clothed as I have described. One whom I met some years ago was on a journey of miles, performed on geta wooden clogs with only one tooth, about half an inch in thickness.
The reason given for this was that it minimised the chances of killing stray beetles, etc. The legends that surround the name of En- no-Shokaku are many and marvellous. He is said to have been born a. His magical powers excited the fears of the countryside, and he was banished to the islands of Idzu. From here, however, he returned every night to the mainland, on each occasion making the ascent of Fuji before he got back.
He is stated to have been the first Japanese to reach the summit of the "Matchless Peak," in A. In spite, however, of the wonders attributed to En-no-Shokaku, it is to Kobo-Daishi, the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, that, on the whole, we may fairly look as the most famous exponent of the semi-religious cult of the mountains of the "Sunrise Land. KOBO-DAISHI 25 and fancy have adorned him — as ascetic, artist, and Alpinist — must pale or disappear in the fierce, cold light of modern criticism, still the old teacher was beyond all doubt a most remarkable personality.
Regarding the former of these distinctions, he has been invested with the title of Go hitsu O sho "The priest of the five brushes ". The popular interpretation of this is that he could write with five brushes at once : i. Modern rationalism, however, refers it to his skill in five difierent styles of penmanship. The number five is often used to signify a large variety or number.
But the chief title to lasting fame amongst his fellow-countrymen, for Kobo-Daishi, lay in his eminence as a teacher of that Buddhist philosophy which he embodied in the tenets of the sect known as Shingon-Shu — which, we are told by Professor Arthur Lloyd, so much resembled Manichseism that it might be said to be practically the same system. St Augustine, before his conversion to Christianity, was himself a Manichsean. Kobo Daishi, born in A. On his return to Japan in , though he brought with him many volumes of Buddhist scriptures, he felt the true inwardness of that religion could not be properly apprehended from the written word.
He therefore sought for full enhghtenment through meditation in the solitudes of the mountain regions to which he retired, and it was while pursuing the quest therein that he made those journeys which the legends that now surround his name have multiplied and magnified into the numerous " first ascents " with which he has been credited. Amongst the other achievements attributed to Kobo-Daishi are the invention of the Hiragana, the Japanese " running hand " syllabary, and a colossal image of Jizo-Sama, the patron saint of travellers and of little children, on the way from Miyanoshita to Hakone, which he is said to have carved in a single night.
A saymg is recorded of him which seems to suggest this clearly, to the effect that " As mountains are not noble because they are high, but because of the trees that grow on them, so, also, a man is not noble because he is stout but because he is wise " ; in which connection he quotes the Chinese aphorism that "Just as it is not the height of a mountain, but the residence in it of a saint, that renders it truly famous ; so, too, water is not sacred because it is deep, but because of the dragons that reside therein.
Its Oku- no-in most sacred shrine stands on the summit of the famous extinct volcano Ontake-san "the august mountain " , near Fukushima, on the Nakasendo, the most southerly peak of the Northern Japanese Alps. Its debari, or subsidiary shrine, is at Kudan, in Tokyo, and is famous for the curious practices of hi-watari "fire-walking" and Kami-oroshi "bringing down the gods" , etc.
The chief tenets of the society are closely concerned with ceremonial lustrations of the most rigorous kind as an aid to moral purification of heart and mind, and the mountaineering activities of the members are, strictly speaking, considered to conduce to this end. Two similar, though less-known, bodies are the Fuso-Kyokwai — founded by one Fuji- wara Sumiyuki, who was alleged to have obtained a " revelation," after prolonged austerities, on the summit of Fuji-san — and the Jikkyo-Kyokwai, whose adherents claim that Fuji is the "heart of the globe.
Until nearly the end of tlie nineteenth century, mountaineering — from the Japanese point of view — had remained much the same as it had been since the days of the wonder-working saints Kobo-Daishi and En-no- Shokaku, and the pilgrim climbers who followed in their steps for the next years. Some account of the constitution and practices of the pilgrim clubs may be found in the volume already referred to on the Japanese Alps.
But during the twenty years since that book was written, a great and significant change has taken place. In the year the Nihon Sangaku-kwai "Japanese Alpine Club" was formed, and its members, drawn mainly from the educated classes, now number some , while it has itself become the parent of a large and thriving family, for many smaller clubs of a similar kind have come into being in different parts of Japan. The spirit of the modern mountaineer of Japan was delightfully interpreted by my friend and colleague in founding the Japanese Alpine Club, Kojima Usui, one of the most gifted writers and the most dis- tinguished mountaineer that the new order has produced.
Writing to me ten years ago of the great and ever-growing interest of many of his countrymen in the pursuit of mountaineering in its fullest sense and his ipsissima verba deserve to be quoted , he declared: "From what I have seen, I feel certain that mountaineering is prevailingly flourishing year by year, and the necessity of associating the Japanese Alpine Club will be recognised by many young peoples in the future not so long.
They are delighted with mountains because they can have the pleasure to breathe in the pure, invigorating air, and refresh their weary souls and bodies, and wash their eyes by looking to the green forests, the foaming rapids, and a hundred other attractions of nature. Quite so to me, too! Mountains my dearest! Here I get the safety of my mind, Eeally eternity neighbours to me here.
Mountains are the holy throne of Truth. Mountains have a silent eloquence which amuses me for ever. There is no war, no blood- shed, no fighting, and no trouble of life at all in this beautiful world. I could not forget this pleasant memory, which will always live until my end.
I will ascend Nantai-san to-morrow. There is not much variety, but gloomy spaces, different rocks and heath, and high hills But of all the views, I think the most horrid is to look at the hills from east to west, or vice versa, for then the eye penetrates far among them, and sees more particularly their stupendous bulk and horrid gloom, made yet more sombrous by the shadows and faint reflections they communicate one to another.
None but these monstrous creatures of God know how to join so much beauty with so much horror. Their imagination can be made up of nothing but bowling-greens, flowering- shrubs, horse ponds, fleet ditches, shell grottoes, and Chinese rails. One of the greatest national perils of Japan to-day lies in her growing and widespread materialism. In this respect she seems to aff'ord a striking parallel to the Germany whose aims and methods in many spheres of activity she so greatly admires. Her ancient faiths the younger educated men have almost entirely discarded, without as yet seriously seeking other high and sacred sanctions for conduct.
The moral outlook of this section of young Japan is becoming one of which many of the leading thinkers of the nation openly speak as depressing and dis- quieting to an alarming degree. I venture to dwell on this topic, since these considerations appear to invest the increasing popularity of mountaineering, as the noblest sphere of active recreation of which a human being is capable, with a moral value of the highest kind.
In more senses than one the pursuit, in its completest form, is a movement upwards, and is pregnant with promise of growing usefulness. But many of them are learning the great lesson that mountain- eering has to teach its willing followers — how good a thing it is for a man to get out of himself; to leave the great cities reared by human hands, and to rise up into those high and holy places whose most stirring appeal is that made to his spiritual nature ; where what most deeply impresses the soul is the presence of an Unseen Dominion, and the power of an invisible Omnipotence ; where the sights that fill the eye are the mightiest and noblest of all works, in raising which neither he nor his kind have had a share.
That this appeal is being recognised and heeded by young Japan, the growing popularity and excel- lence of its Alpine literature conclusively proves. Some of the articles serve to give a delightful impression of the power of the call of the hills to the Japanese mountaineer of to-day. One instance may serve as an illustration. It describes the sensations of an ardent climber as he gained his first view of the magnificent prospect of the granite ramparts and spires of Hodaka-yama from the northern side of the Tokugo Pass : — " When I was brought face to face with the grand sight I was almost beside myself with rapture.
I felt as if I were in a dream. The place where I now stand is no exception to the wonder of the universe. The best human art cannot possibly make anything like this. Such thoughts never enter our hearts while we are engaged in worldly affairs ; but when we find ourselves high up on the summits of the lofty mountains, our spirits seem to undergo some change. I feel, from the bottom of my heart, that this change is due to the ideal giant in the form of Hodaka, which is no other than the creation of God.
On every hand, then, proofs are multiplying of the increasing and varied interest that Japanese mountaineering is exciting among the rising genera- tion of educated Japan. At one time he was a professor in the Kyoto Fine Art Institute, but the latest and most significant testimony to his eminence is his recent appointment as one of the six leading artists chosen to purchase works for the Imperial Court. Fuji itself, indeed, at times is degraded to the level of the "greased pole," against which Kuskin inveighed half a century ago in the case of the Alps and certain of their votaries.
Perhaps it would scarcely be fair to include in the same category the feat of a battalion of the 50th Infantry Regiment who, on 28th July , made what was termed a "forced march " to the summit of Norikura- dake, nearly 10, ft. But in the summer of a " Fuji-climbing Competition " was organised by one of the leading newspapers in Tokyo, when the distance from the rest hut at Tarobo — on the Gotemba route to the tenth station, on the outer edge of the crater at the summit — representing a vertical rise of ft.
Nevertheless, while admiring the energy and enter- prise displayed, one can only wish they were more wisely directed. Doubtless, however, the vogue of these vagaries will vanish as wiser counsels prevail, and the motto of the Japanese mountain climber will not be the " Excelsior " of the record breaker, but that declara- tion of the true mountain-lover, which Benedict Marti, the Professor of Bern in the middle of the sixteenth century, found engraved in the rock on the summit of the Stockhorn, overlooking the Lake of Thun — "o Twv SpMv epoo9 apioTo?
There are times, nevertheless, when a visit to Kamikochi makes one begin to tremble for its future. It is in danger of too great popularity with a type of artist, the rowdiness of whose prolonged and con- vivial gatherings, the dirt and ugliness of the refuse, and the empty tins bestrewing the surroundings of the Onsen, are an insult to the dignity and the repose of the mountain -shadowed glen.
Some day its attrac- tions may be advertised, as another resort of which I read, that " The principal occupation of most of the inhabitants is to feed peacefully upon pilgrims r To those familiar, from an all too bitter experience, with what too often constitutes the " most of the inhabi- tants " of any ordinary Japanese popular resort, such an announcement is apt to be misleading. It is to be hoped, however, that the heavy snows of winter and the seasonal storms, combined with the menace of the destructive eruptions of Yakedake such as dammed up the main valley into the " Taisho Lake" in , may serve to safeguard it from that crowning disfigurement.
Otherwise one can only anticipate for Kamikochi the condition of things that moved an Alpine tourist elsewhere to the sarcastic apostrophe : — " Fair are thy vales, O Sunrise Land, And deep thy forest dells ; But just as deep, though not so fair, The ways of thy hotels. Into the cloudless azure leap The summits of thy hills ; But quite as high and just as steep The merry Jappies' bills.
The earliest known references to Fuji-san in Japanese literature are to be found in a very ancient and famous anthology known as the ManyosJm "The Collection of a Myriad Leaves," "an anthology of all the ages" , published about the end of the eighth century a. Oh, the towering peak of Fuji! When, with upturned glance, men scan it, All the vasty plain of Heaven, And of Sun on daily path All the lustrous light, is hidden ; And of nightly radiant moon Not a shimmer may be seen — Still round thee shall white clouds hover.
Scarcely daring stay or go ; Still the snow shall fall upon thee, Ever-falling ceaselessly ; Still shall men the story tell, Lofty peak of Fuji San. It centres round the adventures of the Moon-Maiden, Kaguya-hime, exiled to earth to expiate past delinquencies. Amongst other incidents of her stay she sends a bottle of elixir to a love- lorn emperor to cure him of his vain passion.
He, however, declines to drink it, and causes it to be carried to the peak of Fuji-san, the august "mountain which rises nearest to the heavens. Another part of the story relates how the hero of the " Quest for the Jewelled Spray " voyages from Naniwa Osaka to seek it on the mountain Horai. After many perils and sufferings he at last views from afar a mountain lofty and fair, but with sides too steep to climb.
Here flows down a stream whose waters were " rainbow-hued, yellow as gold, white as silver, blue as turquoise : it is spanned by bridges built of precious stones, and the trees by its side are laden with dazzling jewels.
Delightful beyond words is this mountain, and in all the world there is not its equal. As to the great peak to which he especially refers, however, it is not merely a mountain : it is a symbol to the people who dwell at its feet of all that is most lovely, gracious, and stately.
It is no wonder that the subject selected for the " Shinnen Gyodai," the poetry competition held every New Year amongst members of the Japanese Imperial Household, was for the year entitled, "Toyama no yuki " " The Snow on the Distant Mountain ".
The far-away prospect from near the palace, viewed in the crystal clearness of a mid-winter's day, is one of exceeding loveliness, varying in charm from hour to hour. Doubtless to the tourists in question such beauty makes little appeal, and for such the Japanese have their own characteristic proverbs — "" Megura no kagami, hoshi no kushi" "A blind man's mirror and a priest's comb" ; and '' Neko ni nembutsu, uma ni zeni" "Prayers to a cat, and money to a horse ".
The fame of Fuji-san was known even to the Chinese also in very early times. An ancient miscellany, Gisho Rokujo, tells of a wondrous peak to the north-east of the then capital of Japan, "called Fuji, or Horai. It is very steep; three sides rise sheer from the sea, and flames and smoke are belched forth from its lofty summit.
Many beautiful springs flow down its sides, and these at night ascend again, when sounds of music may be heard upon it. Here of old once came Jofuku. Possibly this may explain the fact that the name "Fuji" is sometimes written with two Chinese characters which signify "deathless. At any rate, I cannot but feel that there are, in the ranks of its senior members, a number whose sustained activities would go far to convince him that they themselves appear to have succeeded in the quest on which he failed.
Whole volumes have been devoted to descriptions of the manifold perfections of the mountain. Dickins' Fiigaku Hyaku-kei Hokusai. To dream of a snow-clad Fuji, and, above all, if with it appear an egg-plant nasubi and a flight of three cranes, is the height of good fortune. In modern Japanese literature the descriptions of the charms of Fuji-san are perhaps less poetic, though an exception must be made in the case of a remarkable little volume, published some years ago, for the use of visitors to the Hakone district, near the eastern foot of the peak.
It is entitled A Guide-Book on Hakone, and was translated by a Japanese writer into what he states to be the "English that is generally spoken by most of foreigners. Every one who saw it ever has nothing but applause. The place of Fuji in the Art of Japan is as unique as it is universal. Each successive season of the year invests it with its own peculiar charm. One great artist devoted nearly fifty separate drawings to the illustration of the beauties of the snow that forms its winter drapery.
There is scarcely a single one of all the applied fine arts of this land of art whose greatest masters have not found some of their highest inspirations in the fascination of its form, its colour, or its numberless and varied charms viewed from land or sea. It is not difficult to understand why Fuji makes such a universal appeal to the affection and reverence of an artistic and nature-loving people like the Japanese.
In spite of the terrors its volcanic activities have inspired in bygone times, there is something wholly friendly and sociable in the way it looks down on the daily labours and the pleasures of the millions of toilers in crowded cities, and on the unceasing, ant-like activities of the country-side HOKUSAI AND FUJI 43 of the thirteen provinces from which it is seen, revered, and loved.
It was this friendliness of Fuji that appealed to the imagination of Hokusai, the artisan artist of the early part of the nineteenth century, and furnished his nimble fancy with that endless variety of subjects which his brush has portrayed with such extra- ordinary skill. The two chief works of his later days are his "Hundred Views of Fuji," printed in light tints of black and red, and the "Thirty-six Views " of the same mountain, mainly in green, blue, yellow, and brown.
They afford a striking proof of the originality and capability of the one artist of his time who had the courage to break away from the traditions of the colour-print school of the past, and establish himself the leader of a movement entirely novel and revolutionary. Probably the estimate that in his "gift of facile and immediate expression of the artist's thought by means of simple drawing the world has never seen the superior of Hokusai, ' is not wholly an exaggeration.
He himself, however conscious of his powers, never overrated them. His last words are said to have declared that, "If Fate had given me but five more years, I should have been able to become a true painter. Strange , pp. Old Japanese books tell us that for ages after its creation the mountain had no name at all, and to-day the neighbouring country folk often refer to it with a reverent familiarity simply as yama "the honourable mountain".
Besides this, however, there were many other names due to his agile imagination, but less familiar to European ears. The word "Fuji" is probably derived from the Ainu push "to burst forth" , and takes one back to the days when the hairy aborigines dwelt in that part of the land, before they were driven northwards by the invaders from the west. Another reminder of them is at hand also at the eastern foot of the peak, for the name " Subashiri " one of the most popular starting-points for the ascent is of Ainu origin.
Its meaning is "steaming earth," and points back to some now vanished solfatara, such as is found near the base of all the great volcanoes of Japan. Another alternative explanation is that the word is derived from Hucki the name of the Ainu Goddess of Fire. The actual birth of Fuji-san itself is no less a subject of romantic fancies than its name. Japanese tradition tells us it first rose to view in the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Korei, B. One night, in the province of Omi, the earth opened in a gigantic chasm, forming the Lake of Omi Biwa , while the soil thrown forth was transported some miles to the north-east and deposited in the province of Suruga, to form in Fuji a cone of perfect symmetry.
The com- paratively modern excrescence of Hoei-zan, which mars the eastern slope, did not appear until centuries afterwards. A curious survival of this tradition is suggested by the fact that whilst it was once the rule for ordinary pilgrim climbers to fast and mortify the flesh for one hundred days before ascending to worship on the summit, there was a special dispensadon in favour of the men from the province of Omi. Since the mountain was formed from the soil of their birthplace, a natural autochthonous afifinity with it redeemed them from the need of more than seven days of special preparation.
One of Hokusai's " Hundred Pictures " gives a quaint illustration of this legend of the birth of Fuji, and shows the tall cone suddenly rising into the grey sky of early morning, while among the astonished spectators a village official is drawing up a sort of proces-verbal of the marvel.
A shrine on the summit is said to have been dedicated to the presiding divinity by the Emperor Heijo, in a. But probably the most ancient of such foundations is really that at Omiya, at the southern foot, the starting-point of the Murayama ascent. This was the most convenient way of approach in early times from the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto, and would naturally be the first to be honoured with the "Great Shrine" which its name implies. This is the only direction, by the way, from which Fuji is viewed as a pointed peak and not as a truncated cone.
Between the eighth and eighteenth centuries there are twelve distinct erup- tions recorded, and smoke is said to have been seen proceeding freely from the crater as late as the fourteenth century. The latest took place in the winter of , when the crater and mound known as Hoyei-zan were formed.
At the present time steam still continues to issue from various cracks on the east side of the outer rim of the great crater on the top of the mountain, and on my last ascent, in , it was possible to boil an egg in some of them.
Near the shrine of the tutelary divinity on the south-east edge of the crater, a companion spring wells up, Gimmei-sui "silver famous water". Some of the lava streams ejected by the earlier eruptions have flowed for a distance of 15 miles, as far as to the banks of the Fuji-Kawa river beyond Omiya. Others have been dammed [To face p. Of all the approaches to Fuji, that from Kofu by the Nagakura-toge is justly described by Mr Freshfield as the most charming of the many ways of reaching it, reminding one, as it does, of a bit of Tyrolese landscape warmed with the colour of Japanese life and atmosphere.
Some miles to the south of Shoji are several waterfalls of great beauty. The Shira-ito-no-taki ''White Thread Cascade" , with the snow-clad form of Fuji as its background, is one of the loveliest in Japan. The stream rushes over the edge or through the face of a semi-circular clifl" in the lava, in a series of some fifty cascades, into a basin nearly ft.
The two larger of these are known as the "Father" and "Mother" falls respectively, and the smaller ones form their numerous progeny. The height of Fuji above the Pacific shore, from which on the south-east it sweeps upwards in one mighty unbroken curve, is about 12, ft. It has been suggested that as volcanic mountains may decrease in altitude, owing to some subsidence of their eviscerated foundations, possibly a phenomenon of this kind is now taking place in the case of Fuji- san itself.
The movements of the tromometer used there were very much greater than those of another simultaneously observed at Tokyo. This fact is worthy of note in view of the exaggerated statements of admiring writers, whose language is apt to be more picturesque than accurate.
Lafcadio Hearn, for instance, speaks of the "amazing angle" and the " stupendous pitch " of the slopes on the south-east, and he adds, " Evidently I am not fitted to climb high mountains. And yet there are people still alive who have climbed Fuji three or four times for pleasure! Their modern descen- dants one may still meet on some of the remoter sacred peaks.
This, like the white costume, is carefully stamped with the name and sign of the topmost shrine on the mountain of pilgrimage. As the upward way grows toilsome, the tired climbers chant a curious antiphonal invocation — ''Rokkon shojo" gasps one half of the breathless band "May our six senses be pure".
His explanation seems worth recording : " We wear them to show the mountain gods we have come to worship, that we want to be sincere in heart and upright of life, for without this we know they will not hear our prayers. He vras finally able to escape China-wards on a raft of sods, accom- panied by his mother seated in an iron bowl, in the year a.
The first European traveller to announce to the Western world the fact of the existence of Japan, was the famous Venetian, Marco Polo, who heard of the wonders of " Zipangu " during his visit to China in the thirteenth century. The first to actually land on its shores in seems to have been Mendez Pinto, the Portuguese adventurer, whose tall stories earned him the alias of ''Mendacious.
None of these have told us of the "Matchless Mountain," although Will Adams must often have looked out on the glorious view of it over the island- studded waters that wash the feet of the green hills above Hemi, his Japanese home, where modern Yokosuka now stands. But it was reserved for the German, Engelbert Kaempfer, who visited Japan as a surgeon in the service of the Dutch East India Company, and resided there from to , to give us the first really scientific account of the country and its people.
Poets cannot find words, nor painters skill and colours, sufficient to represent this mountain as they think it deserves. In Sunshine and in Stoimi. The expedition of which it formed a part was undertaken mainly for political reasons. Sir William Hooker had stated that it was "an object of great interest to botanists to learn something of the mountain vegetation of Japan ; and especially Fusiyama, of which nothing absolutely was known.
Owing to the severe restrictions on foreign travel outside the limits of the " Treaty Ports," it was seldom possible for Europeans to repeat the ascent. But in a step onwards, and upwards, was made by Lady Parkes wife of the famous British Minister to Japan from , who achieved the, distinction of being the first woman actually to climb to the top of Fuji.
It is noteworthy that the divinity at whose shrine on the summit some 15, now yearly pay their devotions is a feminine one! Until quite recently no woman was ever permitted to ascend the peak, and the upward way allowed them reached, on the Murayama route, no higher than ft.
An imaginary cordon was drawn round the flanks of Fuji, and called Nio-nin-do ''Woman's Way" , and beyond it no female might venture. It was, how- ever, a varying thing on different sacred peaks. On Ontake-san it reached ft. He quotes the account given by one of the mountain villagers of Dorogawa, at the western foot of Omine-san, where the Nionindo hut stands : "We have no legal right to prohibit the women from. But we had other means.
Fortunately, in due time they surrendered. Our stratagem was this — that we persist in our petition to them to abandon the idea by lying flat on our faces on the ground, so that the ladies would have to tread upon our heads if they wished to pass. We felt those feminine infidels should have been shot. Until such hussies be cleared out of the educational circles the spiritual education of the fair sex in Japan will never be satisfactory. He also mentions p. Karyoe, the capital of the region, is stated to possess the distinction of being the only town in the world where no woman is to be found.
The fact that a nionindo is found on Fuji-san, whose guardian divinity is a feminine one, finds a parallel in the circumstance that the oldest monastery on Mount Athos Xeropotamos , and also that of Esphigmenon, are both held to have been founded in the fifth century by the Empress Pulcheria! Giraldus Cambrensis, the Pausanias of Wales, writes towards the end of the twelfth century of Priestholme Island, near Anglesey, that it is "in- habited by hermits, engaged in manual labour, and serving God.
The climbing season, which lasts from the middle of July to the middle of September, is ushered in by a formal ceremony called Yama-hiraki, or " mountain- opening," conducted by the head Kannushi, or "God-guardian," in charge of the principal shrine. Outside that official period the goddess of the mountain is not supposed to be "at home" to pilgrims, and only disaster is to be expected by the importunate and unwelcome.
By a curious coincidence, I have had that experience on nearly every ascent I have made before the Yama- hiraki had been proclaimed. Up to that time practically nothing was known, from the climbing point of view, of the snows of Fuji and the possibilities of ascending them. One lovely morning, early in May, I started with two friends from the "front entrance" at Omiya, only after earnest dissuasion and well - meant warnings from the village fathers, policemen, and priests of the Sengen Shrine.
No sooner had our unwilling goriki mountain porters reached the lower limit of the forest, and made our bivouac in a broken-down shed, than the promised typhoon broke with appalling violence. We had been warned to "look out for squalls," but for the next three days we looked out very little at all.
The squalls saw to that. Finally, the weather cleared up, and we cleared out. An excellent snow-climb of nearly ft. The view from Ken-ga-mine, the highest point which, by the way, is seldom visited by foreign travellers, and is some ft. Almost the whole width of Central Japan, at its broadest span, lay spread out like a gigantic relief-map.
The combination of the dazzling snows that clothed the upper half of the peak with the dark pine forests rising from verdant prairies of extraordinary vividness, and the foaming breakers of the Pacific rolling beyond them eastwards — all this, under a cloudless sky of deepest blue, afforded a feast of colour and variety of charm such as is seldom to be enjoyed even from the loftiest peaks of the Alps themselves.
The sequel to this ascent, however, was in more senses than one something of a "come-down. Their kindly solicitude, liowever, soon rendered us the objects of public concern, and the "foreign" newspapers forthwith honoured us with the following obituary notice, translated from a well-known Japanese journal, the Hochi SMmbun : — " The two? The mountain is still covered with snow as far down as the fifth station, and, as the summit was hidden in clouds, the visitors were urged to postpone the attempt.
But these foreigners were determined to go. A few hours afterwards the storm burst, dislodging huge boulders and house-roofs. As nothing has since been heard of them, it is feared they have succumbed to the fury of the gale. Even had they taken shelter, cold and starvation must long since have rendered them helpless.
The rocks are rough but not difiicult, and the views to the north and west are grand and extensive. The track encircles the mountain about half way up, and the walk of eight hours is full of variety and interest. The most interesting ascent of Fuji in the ordinary summer climbing season is by the northern or Yoshida route.
This can be approached from Tokyo either by the railway to Kofu, or by the main Tokaido line. In either case, the starting-point at Yoshida can be reached by a quaint little one-horse tramcar, whose aberrations from the prescribed track are frequent and entertaining. Impending disaster was always to be foreseen, and could usually be escaped by a timely leap. All was taken as a joke, and a willing shoulder to the wheel soon set the car in the way it should go.
The O ana "Great Hole" , as the Japanese call it, is about ft. On the flat bottom we found great masses of newly fallen rock, and in a crevice of one of these a curious white substance embedded. Our friend described this as a great marvel — nothing less, indeed, than "petrified snow!
The excitement of getting down into the crater, combined with the exertion of getting up out of it, quite overcame the worthy Kannushi. On the notice-board of a little chapel we read the ambiguous announcement: "Saturday night, at 8 P. Subject of the sermon on Sunday morning, ' A Night of Horror. He subsequently presented my wife with the gold medal of honorary membership of some pilgrim club of which he was an official, as he said she was the first European lady to descend into the crater and explore its secrets!
It is strange that Lafcadio Hearn, in describing an ascent of Fuji in the summer of Eocotics and Retrospectives y betrays a singular inability to see anything interesting or striking in the great crater, with its precipitous walls and mighty clifiPs of multi-coloured rock and the changing outlines of the encircling crags. To him it is only "a cavity horrible even in the tones of its yellow, crumbling walls, streaked and stained with every hue of scorching.
No spot in this world can be more horrible, more atrociously dismal, than the cindered tip of the Lotos as you stand upon it. While the lower slopes of Fuji-san are becoming the haunt of winter ski-ing parties, hitherto led by Austrian or German experts, nearly every New Year's holiday now sees some band of Japanese adventurers bent on the achievement of a winter ascent.
Few succeed, and of the many failures a large proportion are signalised by serious accidents or actual fatalities. The risks are not wholly unrealised beforehand, and a favourite motto for such a company is Kessfiitai kyokwai "The Do-or- Die Society". On starting our last ascent, again by the Yoshida route, in , we spent the night beforehand at Yoshida itself.
The whole village was in a turmoil of excitement, for it was the great Matsuin, or festival of Sengen Sama. Near the great toiHi, or ''sacred gateway," in the main street, an enormous silhouette of the mountain was outlined in electric lights, bearing in the middle of it a huge cherry blossom, the symbol of Japanese manly valour.
Revelling and drunkenness lasted far into the night — a singular contrast to the rigorous orthodox asceticism which usually preceded the ascent. On our way up the mountain the next day, it was almost possible literally to smell one's way from hut to hut along the route. We spent that night at the eighth station, at 11, ft. Here we found no need to sleep on a bare board floor, surrounded by chattering and snoring pilgrims and wrapped in an uneasy slumber and flea-infested futon cotton quilts.
The new and solidly built hut boasted a number of separate bunks, like those of the fo'c'sle of a merchant steamer; but the crowning feature of the cabin consisted in a resident policeman and a "house surgeon. The ascent, simple enough in good weather, is altogether another affair in the frequent storms that usher in, and close, the summer climbing season. The first three typhoons were by way of welcome, the last was Fuji's final farewell to one of her most devoted admirers.
All had been smiles and sunshine on the way up. Overnight we had gazed out on the wonderful Kage-Fuji — the shadow of the peak cast by the setting sun on the clouds that eastwards veiled the Pacific from view. Later on, when these had dissolved and departed, we caught the lights of Yokohama and Tokyo glimmer- ing like motionless myriads of glow-worms settled on the ocean margin, 50 or 60 miles away. The early morning greeted us with the glorious summit prospect that never fails to fascinate, however familiar.
But after midday, angry murmurs arose as we traversed the peak from north to south. On the top we passed by the spot where, years ago, a party of half a hundred pilgrims found themselves storm-bound and unable to descend. Their frozen bodies were discovered later on just as they had lain down huddled together for warmth and waiting for the help that never came.
Close by is the Sai-no-Kawara "the river of souls" , where many little pillars of stone mark votive offerings to Jizo-Sama, the patron divinity of travellers and little folk. It was with difficulty we succeeded in struggling across the storm-swept moorland to Omiya, over tracks now transformed into torrents, against a wind that seemed to blow from all quarters at once, and through rain that seemed to rain up as well as down.
It took two days to cover the distance of 30 miles to Hakone, with bridges broken down, railway tracks torn up, and large tracts of countryside flooded deep. In Shidzuoka, 40 miles west of Fuji, nearly three hundred lives were lost in the inundations that partly wrecked the town. The toll taken by the typhoon of 29th August will not soon be forgotten. It was not until long afterwards that I learned of our own unconscious share of responsibility for the disaster.
Ancient tradition, as the Japanese pilgrim guide- books tell us, has always warned travellers against tampering with the rocks on Kengamine, the highest point of Fuji. From time immemorial violent storms have always been promised as the portion of those who take away the little round volcanic fragments that lie there.
Now, on each occasion my wife has climbed Fuji with me such storms have been our lot, and, at length, I have the confession that she has never failed to commit that unforgivable crime! She tells me it must be the outcome of some feminine inquisitive- ness — I suggested acquisitiveness. In any case it offers a singular comment on- — I will not add and justification of — the ancient prohibition of the other sex from ascending the "Peerless Peak" beyond Nio-nin-do, the limits assigned to them on the upward way!
Nowhere else does one meet the old and the new jostling one another so violently, without apparent objection or incongruity in native eyes. There, the unromantic materialism of the twentieth century stretches out its hand across a thousand years and draws the tenth century to its side with all its old-world dreams and com- munings. Almost at the very door of the most sacred shrine on this holy peak, the post-office banner flutters in the breeze to beckon the tired, but triumphant, pilgrim to dispatch to the four corners of the Empire the picture post-card that shall announce his success- ful toil.
And as at early dawn you turn from a surprised contemplation of the most up-to-date instal- lation of modern meteorology on the crater's edge, your astonished eyes are arrested and held with reverent interest by the shivering limbs and the adoring gaze of some aged pilgrim, whose white- clothed form enshrines the glowing devotion of a primeval worship paid in all sincerity to the splendom'S of the Rising Sun.
The Great White Mountain of Koshu. It is enclosed between the great rivers Tenryu-gawa on the west and the Fujikawa on the east, and is mainly of Palaeozoic formation, with none of the big volcanic peaks whose special features help to give the contrasts so characteristic of the Northern Alps. But these densely wooded forms are more massive, and Kaigane, the highest point of the central of the three ranges, reaches 10, ft.
Standing on the border line between Shinshu and Koshu, the two greatest silk-producing provinces of Japan, it presents an almost impassable barrier along most of its extent between them, and the region is one even more un- familiar to travellers — Japanese or European — than its northern rival.
Even to the Japanese themselves, their very names are almost unknown, except to the hunters and the "lumbermen" of the district, and to an occasional Government surveyor or some of the bolder spirits of the Japanese Alpine Club. Only on the outskirts is an occasional onsen met with, usually at a lower level than farther north, and for hundreds of square miles scarcely a human habita- tion is found. As a Japanese student once remarked to Mr Oswald White in another region, "There is nothing but mountains to be seen, and scarcely anything to eat!
The three great ranges comjDOsing the main mass of these " Southern Alps " of Japan are the Akaishi on the west, the Komagatake on the east, and the Shirane in the centre. The Shirane ridge is not to be confounded with the volcanic peaks of the same name near Nikkd and Kusatsu farther north, and the title is a contraction of "Shiramine," or "White Summit " ; its triple tops can be seen, when clad in the dazzling snows of winter, from a point near Yokohama railway station, shortly after the train leaves on its way to Tokyo, nearly miles away as the crow flies.
Since then the kindly grey patriarch and the bath-house he tenanted have vanished. My friend, Usui Kojima, one of the founders and most distinguished members of the Japanese Alpine Club, tells me that, ten years after my visit, my old friend, together with his family and the guests then staying at the onsen, was swept away by one of the terrible inundations all too common in some of these torrent- valleys of Alpine Japan. Although most of the bodies were subsequently recovered, "the poor old man's had not.
It is now believed that he has gone at last to the Pacific Ocean through the Tenryii Valley! The present railway now linking Tokyo with the interior of the great province of Koshu known officially as the Prefecture of Yamanashi only ran as far as Torisawa, a distance of 44 miles.
The journey thither introduced me to two persons en route, whose behaviour somewhat contradicted certain popular fallacies of the European traveller. From Hachioji the line traverses a tract of country of considerable beauty and interest, but as it pierces the innumerable spurs of the hills that hem in the bright waters of the Banyii-gawa, the journey suggests a slide through a gigantic flute.
Darkness had long fallen before Enkyo was reached, and the basha ride of 2 J miles thither from Torisawa was only achieved with much toil. The heavy rains of weeks past had reduced the road to the condition of a river-bed, and the basha, half a wheel deep amid the bare boulders that now mainly constituted it, was only heaved along with difficulty, and with the occasional help of gangs of labourers, whose fires by the wayside served to reveal the pitfalls for a brief space as we passed onward again into the gloom.
At Enkyo I halted for the night, but the famous old "monkey bridge," which gave the once popular name " Saruhashi " to the place, had vanished, and the deep green waters of the swift Katsuragawa were now spanned by a more up-to- date, ugly, and useful bridge.
Formerly it was a mere long plank supported on struts of timber ingeniously projected from the opposing walls of the ravine, and its passage was nervous work for the unpractised and unsteady, hence its suggestive title. The next day, in the fond but foolish hope that time was to be gained thereby, I left at 7 a.
Its usual appearance is that of a cross between a hearse and an ambulance wagon, and its behaviour on a typical country road often suggests to the passenger the probability that he will soon be a candidate for one or other of those useful but gloomy conveyances. The poor, vicious, ill-fed beast doomed to struggle in front of it is too often little better than a mere collection of bones held together by the enveloping hide. The " harness " is merely a euphemism for a miscellaneous web of ropes, straps, and string ; indeed there is very little attachment, literally or figuratively, between the horse and what it drags behind it, and there is often, as has been remarked, nothing stable about it but the smell!
An average day's outing in it offers exercise of a strenuous kind, such as only a person of robust health and unimpaired nerves can be recommended to indulge in. With the advent of the motor-car in the larger cities, ordinary carriages are now being driven out on to the country roads, and the native hasha of our nightmares, like Tartarin's Tarascon stage-coach relegated to Algeria, will doubt- less soon disappear into the remotest regions of the Empire. Leaving this one without regret, I climbed the steep zigzags of the Sasago-toge, through whose base the longest tunnel in the country was being slowly driven.
From the top of the pass, ft. Over lower foot-hills due westwards, the triple-topped ridge of Shirane-san raised its massive bulk, with the fine granite top of the Koshu Komagatake, and the steeple-like peak of Ho-wo-zan, on whose summit no human being as yet had ever stood. The final obelisk itself is familiarly known to the peasants of the nearer valleys as Jizo-butsu, from its fancied resemblance to an image of Jizo, the patron divinity of mountain travellers and of little children, a fact which renders him probably the most popular in the whole of the Japanese Buddhist pantheon.
At Komakai, a hamlet near the foot of the pass, I discovered to my great surprise a stable basha, a horse in good condition, and a driver in good spirits, and this unique combination on a well-graded road, slightly downhill and in excellent repair, landed me in a wild rush of 4 miles in half an hour at Katsu- numa, whence a horse tramway covered the remaining 10 miles to Kofu in one and three-quarter hours.
Here we were in the grape-growing district for which Koshu is gaining a considerable reputation, and the wine produced— both red and white — is finding an increasing market in Central Japan. The early crop in August is rather acid and cheap, but the best and sweetest come on in late September.
One of the meibutsu "speciality" of Kofu is a sweet known as tsuki no shizuku "moon-drops" , which consists of ripe black grapes covered with an icing of sugar. The tram ride to Kofu from Katsunuma was disturbed by the abrupt disappearance of two mild- eyed fellow-passengers who proved to be plain-clothes THE KOFU PLAIN 71 detectives on the track of the assassin of a police constable murdered just before we left the village.
Excellent quarters welcomed one at an old haunt, the Yonekura Inn, and from the Kairotei, a semi- European restaurant near by, I was provided, as of old, with excellent chikkin-katsuretsu and a delicious jam pancake sometimes cruelly misrepresented on the menu under the title " sweat omelette! There were a certain quantity of mosquitoes on the wing, but the only real "fly in the ointment" was the presence of a number of Chinese silk merchants whose noisy and arrogant behaviour offered a striking contrast to the courtesy and self-restraint of their hosts, Kofu, the capital of the old province of Koshu now known as Yamanashi Ken , is in many respects the most interesting of all the great country towns of inland Japan.
It deserves more than a passing reference. It lies in the middle of a great and fertile plain said to be the bed 'of an ancient lake, of which traces are still to be found. It is mountain-girt on nearly every side, and watered by the network of clear streams that unite to form the swift Fujikawa.
In the summer-time their shallow waters fill but narrow channels, though the broad stretches of dazzling granite boulders tell other tales of the widespread inundations that form one of the most frequent and dreaded scourges of these mountain regions.
Although the disasters wrought by earthquakes appeal more to the popular imagina- tion, in reality the damage done by floods is far more serious both to life and property. For this the Japanese are themselves partly to blame, owing to their reckless denudation of the wooded area in the hills. The immense quantities of sand and gravel, etc. The swiftest river in Japan, the Tenryu, was at one time nearly the most destructive, but since the hills of the head - waters near Lake Suwa were reaff'orested the damage has considerably decreased.
As far back as a. His body rests in the temple of Eirinji, near the foot of the Karisaka-toge north- east of Kofu. At Kamagawa, a village beyond Eirinji, the local innkeejjer was one of the last to abandon the time-honoured custom of charging his guests but one fixed price for their sake, no matter what quantity they consumed! In some other commercial ventures, however, this region is more "progressive," for it is the centre of one of the most famous silk-producing districts in the Empire, and filatures and factories now rise on all hands.
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Fine, ya damn fanboys. Got requests to record this Have your English dub too. Official Site: fireemblem. However, it still has a name in the movie list:. Entries for a few unused characters are listed in GameData. None of the below characters have descriptions. There is an entry for a character named Andrea. Andrea's name is located with the SpotPass characters.
Entries for "Minerva" and "Pegasus" exist between the "Ruffian" entry and "Bella"' entry. Considering the location of "Minerva" in the unit list, the entry is intended to be the wyvern, not the redheaded Macedonian princess from past Fire Emblem games.
Gerome has an unused cut-in portrait where he's unmasked. He never takes his mask off in battle, rendering this unused. Phila has an unused critical hit cut-in sprite, yet she's never an actual unit, making this sprite unused. It is unknown what this would have been used for. There are actually two drawings of baby Lucina; only the former is used. The unused version can be found in a modified duplicate of the Baby Lucina art model.
A similar placeholder that says " Scarlet Flame Gem using a 3D model ". Many of the "confession" scenes the scenes where characters profess their love for the Avatar have unused or hidden elements. The above image, which is a render of the barracks scene with an XYZ axis visible, is located in the files for Yarne, Miriel, Aversa, and Emmeryn's confessions.
Note: Aversa and Emmeryn, while technically being unlocked via SpotPass, are actually in the game's files, as are all SpotPass characters. It is a copy of Gangrel's confession, but with less detail and an alternate color of Gangrel. This archive also contains an image of stone architecture with " dummy " written on top.
This image is actually taken from someone's travelogue about their visit to Syria in The second confession listed in the game is Frederick's confession, but with a different, simpler, animation and The full texture is cut off because of the model's shape. The model is named ground The black on the trees is a rendering error. There are 2 textures that each correspond to a "book" in the background of the ending scene. However, the front of each book can't be seen, thus making these textures hidden.
The front of the red book can be seen briefly, and its contents are visible, but because of the 3DS's low resolution, it's almost impossible to make out the words on the page. However, if one is to look at the texture itself, they can make out the words "Create a new layer" on the top of the right page.
The background that's used in the background of character supports is actually much bigger than what is seen on-screen. Only about half of the background is seen in-game during supports. It's very likely that the one in the Support Log was made first, then altered in the flashback to make more sense. Olivia and Chrom talking about how much they've grown with each other after being friends for the whole of one battle would certainly be strange.
It is different in the demo and in the final. It is different in the demo and in the final, as they were built at separate times. Take a look! From The Cutting Room Floor. This game has a prerelease article Fire Emblem Awakening is like a reboot of Fire Emblem : it combines and expands on many previous features from the series and introduces some of its own, like the pair-up system.
Source: Serene's Forest. The Fire Emblem series. Categories : Pages missing developer references Games developed by Intelligent Systems Games developed by Nintendo SPD Pages missing publisher references Games published by Nintendo Nintendo 3DS games Pages missing date references Games released in Games with hidden development-related text Games with unused graphics Games with unused models Games with unused sounds Games with unused text Games with regional differences To do To investigate Fire Emblem series.
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