He began his life as the youngest son of Natsume Kobee Naokatsu, his father, and Natsume Chie, his mother. He was named "Kinnosuke" because his birthday was, according to the Chinese sexagenary cycle, "57th sexagenary cycle day. Soon after he was born, Soseki was out at nurse and fostered. He recalled his situation of the day as follows: I was born to my mother late in her life.
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Natsume took a degree in English from the University of Tokyo and taught in the provinces until , when he went to England on a government scholarship. In he became lecturer in English at the University of Tokyo. Both satirize contemporary philistines and intellectual mountebanks.
After , when he gave up teaching to devote himself to writing, he produced his more characteristic works, which were sombre without exception. His typical heroes are well-educated middle-class men who have betrayed, or who have been betrayed by, someone close to them and through guilt or disillusionment have cut themselves off from other men.
Natsume claimed that he owed little to the native literary tradition. Yet, for all their modernity, his novels have a delicate lyricism that is uniquely Japanese. It was through Natsume that the modern realistic novel, which had essentially been a foreign literary genre , took root in Japan. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen , Corrections Manager.
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This is a campus novel 50 years ahead of its time, a coming-of-age story and a study of love in a changing world, commenting on the shifting social mores and morals of 20th-century Japan. Soseki stands back, but not unfeelingly If I had to match what Soseki does in this book, and does so successfully, with a Western writer, I think I would choose Forster. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.
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