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KAWABATA, Yasunari



Snow Country

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Long accustomed to a life of self-indulgent solitude, he began to yearn for the beauty of giving himself to others. The nobility of the word 'sacrifice' became clear to him. He took satisfaction in the feeling of his own littleness as a single seed whose purpose was to carry forward from the past into the future the life of the species called humanity. He even sympathized with the thought that the human species, together with the various kinds of minerals and plants, was no more than a small pillar that helped support a single vast organism adrift in the cosmos-- and with the thought that it was no more precious than the other animals and plants.

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It was a stern night landscape. The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night clolour. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.

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