Saturday, January 09, 2010

The world at large is never to know.

The great novel "Sanshiro" ends thus.

Yoshiro moved closer to Sanshiro. "How do you like 'Woman in Forest?'"
"The title is no good."
"What should it be, then?"
Sanshiro did not answer him, but to himself he muttered over and over, "Stray sheep. Stray sheep."

Soseki Natsume "Sanshiro", translated by Jay Rubin.

So finally, it was about a painting. To the casual onlooker it is just a painting of a woman with a fan, posing in the forest. It is nothing but the "Woman in the Forest".

To Sanshio alone, the painting is the focal point of his never-to-return youthful wanderings. The encounter with the enigmatic woman, the romance, the agitations, dreams, heartbreaks, and the eventual catastrophe in the form of the marriage of the woman to a total stranger.

The novel starts with the encounter of Sanshiro with Mineko by the pond, and ends with the fulfillment of the creation of the painting in the final scene. The painting hides many secrets and tears under its shining surface.

The intimacy is private, and the world at large is never to know. Nobody is to hear Sanshiro's sighs. Then the novelist comes to the rescue.

The Sanshiro pond in the University of Tokyo Hongo campus, named after the famous novel.
It was by this pond that Sanshiro met Mineko.


砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

I don't understand the difficult theory of translation, but I love the tone and sound of Jay Rubin's translation.

Yuzu said...

How broad universe is in the life.
How much did you research in your qualia?
How hard life in this earth.
But it is marvelous precious life.
Then you always comes to the rescue.