My Book World
Western readers should probably read more eastern literature, myself included; it would give us a broader view of the world. Wikipedia defines the game of Go in this manner: “Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day.” In this book (hybrid of novel and nonfiction), the game has moved to Japan. For Kawabata the game of Go provides a wonderful extended metaphor for one man’s life. Shusai, Master of Go, spends time toward the end of his life in battle with a player named Otaké, a fine player but hypochondrial man. The game moves from venue to venue, where players may take hours to decide a play, where weeks may pass before the continuation of the game. There are end notes that help to explain the game. A brief but head-spinning read.
NEXT FRIDAY: My Book World | Richard Ellmann's Oscar Wilde