One of my favorite books of all time One of the best film adaptations of a book as well done by Hiroshi Teshigahara in collaboration with Abe Both are eually mesmericKobo Abe s well honed surreal worlds became etched permanently in my mind and this novel than his others Even after reading some of his less intense and less masterful novels I still retained a deep appreciation for his bizarre aesthetic You will discover a similar texture and attitude as in Poe or Baudelaire Though he is not often discussed in the same circles as Kenzaburo Oe or Haruki Murakami his influence has become far reaching and is singular in its approachThis is Abe s finest work in my opinion far surpassing Box Man Ruined Map Ark Sakura and Kangaroo Notebook However almost everything he wrote affected me in one way or another This could have been because I read most of his oeuvre in college impressionable as I wasIt wasn t until I also read uicksand by Tanizaki that I realized that both novels were about on the same level in my mind Tanizaki s masterpiece less about sand and about love felt like a parry to Abe s even though Abe s came later Both are existential Abe s is mythic and Tanizaki s grounded I was socked in the gut by both There is an essence of self sabotage to the characters psyches and an inescapable passion consumes them leading inevitably toward a void I was enraptured by Abe first and will likely return to this novel far oftenEntomology exists on the fringes of Woman in the Dunes as it does in Ark Sakura Insects crawl through the novels but they also make for a nice comparison to the main characters who are trapped in an environment where their humanity wears away ept in a terrarium of sorts and we the readers are studying them fascinated The film captures the voyeuristic uality of the narration incredibly wellThe shifting psychological portraits that Abe presents to us are reminiscent of his experimental plays I believe he was concerned with the human being as an object among disorienting constraints As in Box Man the most intriguing aspects of the plot arise from the juxtaposition of humanity with the absurdity of their own weakness their limitations define them and allow them to discover hidden potentialities often as disturbing as they are enlightening He explores humanity s survival instinct in Beasts Head for Home and much of the same sentiment can be found hereAs dark and brooding as Kafka but pure simple yet beguilingly complex this novel rewards those who seek to dwell in the liminal spaces between reality and dream The burden of understanding ourselves is an illustration of perpetual motion Humanity s protean heart is contained in us all vaguely buried beneath layers of propriety comfort and self denial If all the world were sand if it was all we new how would our minds conform to the contours of our flat horizon Would the solitary figures of other minds blasted smooth and coppery sink into our animaEnmesh yourself in this softly distressing masterpiece 45 starsWithout the threat of punishment there is no joy in flightIn Kobo Abe s fantasy world of The Woman in the Dunes an amateur entomologist on vacation finds himself in a remote coastal village
built amid deeply undulating dunes There he is tricked by a lonely widow amid deeply undulating
dunes There he is tricked by a lonely widow her neighboring There he is tricked by a lonely widow her neighboring trapped in deep pits shored by sand drift walls to be charged with the task of shoveling back the ever sliding banks persistent and never ending in its threat to entomb them Sand moves around like this all year long Its flow is its life It absolutely never stops anywhere Whether in water or air it moves about free and unrestricted So usually ordinary living things are unable to endure life in itThe landscape of the dunes which Abe describes of wood rotted boxed dwellings built at the bottom of shifting sand hills could not realistically exist marking the novel as a science fiction fantasy thriller In addition its themes adopt surrealistic dreamlike metamorphosing features reminiscent of the works of Kafka slowly shifting and deforming like the dunes themselves SandThings with form were empty when placed beside sand The only certain factor was its movement sand was the antithesis of all formAbe s works are ge. The Woman in the Dunes by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe combines the essence of myth suspense and the existential novel After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seashore an amateur entomologist is .
Kōbō Abe Å 8 DownloadT him free if he will only have sex with the woman in their view God playing with his human toys I appreciated the intellectual drive of the novel but I never felt much of a visceral tie to the characters The absurdity of the story prevented that for me This book tell the story of an entomologist that in his search for a specific beetle ends up trapped by local villagers in a huge sand hole with a woman where he is forced to work gathering sand As time pass by his emotions and sanity begin to get twisted In his struggle to escape both human and nature obstacles he tries different strategies and we are caught cheering for his success but ind of nowing that his chances are minimal which is a good distressing experienceThis is truly timeless global layered story that everyone should read A man is trapped in a sand pit by villagers while he is out hunting for insects in the dunes He is forced to shovel sand out day after day as he plots to escape and forms an odd relationship with the woman who shares the pit The role of the woman is intriguing She is a sex object his rational conscience an imagined foe an eventual partnerfriend and at the same time very one dimensional The sand the insects even are developed as characters than the woman is The real appeal of this novel is in the existentialist allegory It s life as perceived by most humans at the various stages of maturity Anger selfishness rebellion Then reason planning strategic alliances Lastly acceptance contentment humanity At the end as he is close to achieving his purported goal he chooses to delay To delay death perhaps Is the message here that life is the journey and not the destination Is freedom all we imagine or do we all harbor a hidden need to be enslavedI would love to spend some time with this book again perhaps with a class and study it closely There is much to appreciate from the sand and insect imagery to the enigmatic woman to the man s psychological states I can t take it all in with one read While he mused on the effect of the flowing sands he was seized from time to time by hallucinations in which he himself began to move with the flow This book is about
A Man Who Trickedman who tricked has to live in a house at the bottom of a sand pit with a woman They can t escape the sand which settles on them even as they sleep As much as they shovel it away they can t get rid of it This is definitely a uniue story I now now about sand than I probably need to I never really thought much about sand but I ind of didn t have a choice in this book Had my arachnophobia been replaced by Ammophobia fear of sand there was a certain moment in K b Abe s 1962 existential fable my hands would have turned extra clammy and my thumping heart would have likely jumped out of my chest to find safety What an odd story this was It reads something like a Japanese Kafka infused with a bit of Nietzsche and topped off with a light dusting of Beckett Abe was generally nown for work where plot and character are usually subservient to idea and symbol This makes The Woman in the Dunes something of an anomaly Its plot is somewhat devious addictive yes but rather straightforward told in almost abstract allegorical termsA nameless man arrives in a remote area of sand dunes with t This book is horrifically claustrophobic and eerieHow much of our lives consist of frantically trying to stay afloat Life can be as fruitless as a man trapped under sand dunes digging to liveor living to dig Do we work to live or live to work If you think being held hostage in sand is fantastical what do you think your life is anyway This book wears you down It gets into your skin your hair under your fingernails The sand is everywhere The wind the salt air their eyes always watching You never breathe in all the way You can t see the horizon through the grains scratching the insides of your eyelidsThere s a man and sand A lot of sand And a woman And it s all delusional suffocating and brilliant He was like an animal who finally sees that the crack in the fence it was trying to escape through is in reality merely the entrance to its cage like a fish who at last realizes after bumping its nose numberless time that the glass of the goldfish bowl is a wall. H shoveling back the ever advancing sand dunes that threaten to destroy the village His only companion is an odd young woman and together their fates become intertwined as they work side by side through this Sisyphean of tasks. ,
Nerically concerned with the human state of balance whose fragility becomes evident in a life of pointlessness and insufferable futility In The Woman in the Dunes Abe presents the grotesue sadness borne from a man s oppressive fruitless daily life the image of a degraded human being who is isolated trapped in the monotony of routine unable to escape a meaningless existence What s hardest for me is not nowing what living like this will ever come toWhat was this Hell of Loneliness he wondered Perhaps they had misnamed it he had thought then but now he could understand it very well Loneliness was an unsatisfied thirst for illusionTo effectuate some meaningfulness to his situation
Whether For The Choice Tofor the choice to or freedom of escape the protagonist heroically attempts to alter his circumstance significantly going through a metamorphosis of his own but like the true inetic nature of sand its waves of ebbs and flows his fate lays ambiguousview spoiler The theory had been advanced that the man tired of life had committed suicide hide spoiler When we mix surrealistic Kafkaesue climate with existential uestions about sense of human being then we get something like The woman in the dunes Tale about a man obsessed or maybe possessed with sand who during the trip to the sea is trapped in the dunes in a cave inhabited by a lonely woman Initially desperately tries to escape but the magnetic strength of the woman her desperate fight with sand makes that what previously seemed to be a trap now becomes a sense of his life The first what comes to your mind is like hang on I Tricycle (HISTOIRE) know that history It s like The Trial by Kafka The same anonymous hero entangled in an absurd situation condemned and imprisoned for unspecified faultsProse is hallucinatory atmosphere stifling and nightmarish This story is captured by the sand In fact sand rules everyone and everything sand never rested Reading you can almost hear rustle of the sand as if it was pouring from the book Suna No Onna Sand Woman The Woman in the Dunes K b AbeThe Woman in the Dunes is a novel by the Japanese writer K b Abe published in 1962 It won the 1962 Yomiuri Prize for literature and an English translation and a film adaptation appeared in 1964In 1955 Jumpei Niki a school teacher from Tokyo visits a fishing village to collect insects After missing the last bus he is led by the villagers in an act of apparent hospitality to a house in the dunes that can be reached only by rope ladder The next morning the ladder is gone and he finds he is expected toeep the house clear of sand with the woman living there with whom he is also to produce children He eventually gives up trying to escape when he comes to realize returning to his old life would give him no li Since I started reading both avidly and widely several years ago I ve spent time analyzing different genres different inds of authors and different inds of literature In Jane Smiley s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel she makes a number of observations about how classic French novels differ from classic British novels and how American novelists
differ from either I m not well read enough in French and British literature to judge the validityfrom either I m not well read enough in French and British literature to judge the validity her points other than to notice that yes Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas K b Abe Image from Vicecom This is a Let Freedom Reign': The Words of Nelson Mandela. Henry Russell kafkaesue story of an entomologist who travels to a remote village in search of a new species of beetle It is he and not the bug who is captured The village is beset by relentless sand Their homes have already been buried so deep that it takes full time effort by residents to remove incoming sand from the holes in which their houses are now nearly buried toeep from being destroyed Jumpei is placed in the home of a widow to help her The story tells of his imprisonment and his attempts to escape There is much detail here about sand but the true intent here is an examination of life What is existence What is the true role of man Do we control our fate If so how much A bond grows between the man and woman and becomes sexual Finally he is faced with a choice when freedom is offered to stay or go There is one scene that is uite chilling in which taunting village elders at the top of his hole tease him that they will se. Ffered lodging for the night at the bottom of a vast sand pit But when he attempts to leave the next morning he uickly discovers that the locals have other plans Held captive with seemingly no chance of escape he is tasked wit.