Loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egoistical selves.
Author: Natsume Soseki
First Published: 1914
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3:96)
The Beginning: I always called him “Sensei”
When I started reading Kokoro, I had just abandoned another book. A – to me – soulless book driven by plot alone. What I needed was a true reading experience. Not a book meant to shock or entertain, but a book where the words, sensations and characters drag you deep into their world. Natsume Soseki‘s poetry provided a beautiful reading experience, entangled in loneliness and sadness.
I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves.
Like the first whiff of burning incense, or like the taste of one’s first cup of saké, there is in love that moment when all its power is felt.
I am a lonely man,” he said again that evening. “And is it not possible that you are also a lonely person? But I am an older man, and I can live with my loneliness, quietly. You are young, and it must be difficult to accept your loneliness. You must sometimes want to fight it.
I believe that words uttered in passion contain a greater living truth than do those words which express thoughts rationally conceived. It is blood that moves the body. Words are not meant to stir the air only: they are capable of moving greater things.
To tell you the truth, I used to consider it a disgrace to be found ignorant by other people. But now, I find that I am not ashamed of knowing less than others, and I’m less inclined to force myself to read books. In short, I have grown old and decrepit.
Kokoro is part of my reading challenge for 2014. The pictures for this post were taken at my favorite café Underwood Ink.