About House of the Sleeping Beauties
House of the Sleeping Beauties is a novella of tense, fraught premonition, exploring the darkest depths of lust and (in)humanity. The protagonist, ‘Old Eguchi’ visits the titular establishment where old men pay to take sleeping pills and sleep beside narcotized young girls, the ‘sleeping beauties’. Throughout Eguchi’s repeat visits, each time laying beside a different girl that he’s forbidden to touch, the reader embarks on an exploration of shame, repression and degeneration, the tension in the themes balanced and tempered by Kawabata’s characteristically subtle style.
About Yasunari Kawabata
Yasunari Kawabata (1899 – 1972) was a Japanese novelist and short story writer whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. Born in Osaka in 1899, he published his first stories while he was still in high school. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924. His story “The Izu Dancer,” first published in 1926, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955. Among his major novels published in the United States are Snow Country (1956), Thousand Cranes (1958), The Sound of the Mountain (1970), The Master of Go (1972), and Beauty and Sadness (1975). Kawabata was found dead, by his own hand, in 1972.
Interview of Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_SoosDTMP0