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The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches : Penguin Classics - Matsuo Basho

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 1st March 1967
ISBN: 9780140441857
Number Of Pages: 176
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In his perfectly crafted haiku poems, Basho described the natural world with great simplicity and delicacy of feeling. When he composed The Narrow Road to the Deep North he was a serious student of Zen Buddhism setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. He wrote of the seasons changing, of the smell of the rain, the brightness of the moon and the beauty of the waterfall, through which he sensed the mysteries of the universe. These travel writings not only chronicle Basho's perilous journeys through Japan, but they also capture his vision of eternity in the transient world around him.

About The Author

Basho, the Japanese poet and diarist, was born in Iga-ueno near Kyoto in 1644. He spent his youth as companion to the son of the local lord, and with him he studied the writing of seventeen-syllable verse. In 1667 he moved to Edo (now Tokyo) where he continued to write verse. He eventually became a recluse, living on the outskirts of Edo in a hut. When he traveled he relied entirely on the hospitality of temples and fellow-poets. In his writings he was strongly influenced by the Zen sect of Buddhism.

Industry Reviews

Written in a mixture of prose vignettes known as haibun and the 17-syllable poems of haiku, this slim volume contains five travel sketches from Bashi's wanderings through his native Japan in the 17th century. Few books so brilliantly marry a journey through a physical exterior with the interior landscape of the traveller. Mountains collared by clouds and cedar trees dripping rain become a subtle revelation of Bashi's own state of mind. The purity and simplicity of the writing is breathtaking. In four short haiku lines Bashi is able to conjure the spirit of place and of his own shifting moods in a way that would take other writers whole pages. (Kirkus UK)

The Records of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton
A Visit to the Kashima Shrine
The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel
A Visit to Sarashina Village
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Map 1. Central Japan
Map 2. Central Japan
Map 3. Northern Japan

ISBN: 9780140441857
ISBN-10: 0140441859
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 1st March 1967
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.5  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 1

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