The Narrow Road to the Deep North
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The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Matsuo Bashō
Literature
Aug 29, 2018
Written late in the seventeenth century, the travel writings of Matsuo Bashō, the most revered of haiku masters, are the culmination of an eight-century Japanese literary tradition. Just as Bashō elevated the customarily lighthearted haiku into a supple and profound poetic form despite the strictness of its seventeen-syllable constraints, so he transfigured the casual record of a journey into an embodiment of contemplative expression and cultural sensibility, combining both prose and poetry in a single narrative. Spare, contemplative, evocative, and richer than its economy of scale suggests, Bashō’s Narrow Road collects in one exquisite work the ephemeral sights of a samurai-era traveler, the mystical visions of a Zen devotee, and the timeless intuitions of a poetic luminary.
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Richard Flanagan is such a wonderful author, especially of life in Tasmania. This book is a gripping account of the experience of POWs on the Burma railroad, with the prospect of torture and not much hope of survival; should be read in conjunction with Dr. Weary Dunlop's book about the same experience (Richard's dad was on the railway, helping medicos like Weary treat the starved/beaten/overworked Australian/British/Malay workers)
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Sorry -- I didn't look at the author -- assumed it was Richard Flanagan's book with the same title
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