Natsume Soseki: Kokoro

Missing maestros

Barry Hill

 

Kokoro
by Natsume Soseki, translated by Meredith McKinney
Penguin, $9.95 pb, 237 pp, 9780143106036

 

Australia is supposed to have a knowing relationship with East Asia, but the embarrassing truth we keep under wraps is that you can count on one hand the number of first-class translators we have produced. There are no doubt complex cultural reasons for this, but it is hard to escape the impression that many academics teaching Chinese and Japanese have not been earning their keep.

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Published in October 2011 no. 335

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