Great Books IV Spring 2020

Beauty and Sadness - Yasunari Kawabata

Symbols and Realities

Reading/Discussion Schedule

April 10: pp. 3-102; April 14: pp. 103-206

Uji Tea Field Meditation

Lake Biwa - Kyoto

April 10

  1. Characterize Keiko's beauty.
  2. What is the source of Oki's guilt?
  3. Which is more real - the abstract or the traditional?
  4. Why does Fumiko endure?
  5. What is the bond between Otoko and Keiko based upon?
  6. What do the stones symbolize?
  7. How is Keiko a kind of alter-ego for Otoko and vice versa?
  8. Why are the artist's model and the painter's model entirely different?




April 14

  1. What is the greatest sadness?

  2. What is Keiko's laceration? her greatest fear?

  3. Can Otoko paint an abstract baby picture?

  4. How will this story unfold after the ending?

  5. Which natural object, other than a stone, is the best metaphor/symbol for this novel?

  6. Why is "Vanishing Beauty" a good alternate title for the novel?

  7. Who is the antagonist of this work? Who is its protagonist?

  8. Enumerate all of the dualities present in the work.