Woman in the dunes book analysis

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woman in the dunes book analysis

Woman in the Dunes / The Face of Another by Kōbō Abe

The Woman in the Dunes

One of the premier Japanese novels of the twentieth century, this masterpiece combines the essence of myth, suspense, and the existential novel. In a remote seaside village, Niki Jumpei, a teacher and amateur entomologist, is held captive with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit where, Sisyphus-like, they are pressed into shoveling off the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten the village.

The Face of Another

The narrator is a scientist hideously deformed in a laboratory accident–a man who has lost his face and, with it, his connection to other people. Even his wife is now repulsed by him. His only entry back into the world is to create a mask so perfect as to be undetectable. But soon he finds that such a mask is more than a disguise: it is an alternate self–a self that is capable of anything. A remorseless meditation on nature, identity and the social contract, an intellectual horror story of the highest order.
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Published 13.02.2019

The Face of Another(1966)-Trailer

Dive deep into Kobo Abe's The Woman in the Dunes with extended analysis, Abe's sand imagery in his novel presents an existential vision of reality that.
Kōbō Abe

The Woman in the Dunes Summary & Study Guide

O f the varied media the artist Hiroshi Teshigahara mastered, filmmaking is the one he let go. Upon the death of his headmaster father, in , he assumed the full responsibility of leadership of the Sogetsu flower arrangement school, in which his sister had been far more active than he. He would return to film in later years, as the revered headmaster himself, but in a far more solemn and far less sensual mood than that which marked his greatest, earlier works. The feature film Woman in the Dunes, his collaboration with novelist-playwright-scenarist Kobo Abe, stands at the high point of his filmmaking career and constitutes the most eloquent of his several works with Abe. From his work as a potter, which harks back to the gently curved shapes, rough surfaces, and muted glazes of vessels associated with the refinements of a late sixteenth-century Japanese tea ceremony, he lends a sculptural beauty to the sands of Woman in the Dunes, bringing them to life as a key player in the drama of a man and a woman pitted against the elements and each other.

The Woman in the Dunes Summary & Study Guide Description

Posted by lisathatcher on January 8, in Film Reviews 5 Comments. They produce the most remarkable films together. Of course, they are both extraordinary artists in their own right — perhaps it is the multiple disciplines that works in favour of their collaboration. Their collaboration has produced several films, and little I have seen equals the beauty and the horror of Woman of the Dunes. The novel was published in , and the film was released in

This is my year of horrible reading. I am reading the classics of horror fiction during the course of , and each week will write about a significant work in the genre. You are invited to join me in my annus horribilis. During the course of the year — if we survive — we will have tackled zombies, serial killers, ghosts, demons, vampires, and monsters of all denominations. Check back each week for a new title I cringe whenever a character falls asleep and the story moves into slumber time.

These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. The Woman in the Dunes is a novel crafted by Japanese writer and playwright Koko Abe and published in It is the story of a teacher interested in insects who went in search of a rare instance of the Spanish fly. Stumbling on a remote village, he accepts the villagers' offer to spend the night in the house of a lonely woman. He descends by a rope ladder into the woman's pit, at the bottom of which the house is located.


  1. Deyanira A. says:

    Is Kobo Abe's strange, bleak novel The Woman in the Dunes, about a For Timothy Iles, author of an analysis in English of Abe's work, the.

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