The Narrow Road to the Deep North (奥の細道 Oku no Hosomichi) is the title of famed haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s most famous work, a poem-filled travelogue. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics) [Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa] on *FREE* shipping on . The Narrow Road to the Deep North, travel account written by Japanese haiku master Bashō as Oku no hosomichi (“The Narrow Road to Oku”), published in.

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Review by Carl Wilkinson. Report a mispronounced word. In the spring ofthe Japanese poet Matsuo Basho went on a journey that would form the basis of his most famous work: The novel examines the plight of Australian PoWs at the hands of their Japanese captors while building the Burma Death Railway during the final years of the second world war.

Dorrigo Evans, a young Australian surgeon waiting for deployment, pays a visit to his uncle Keith, who runs the King of Cornwall pub on the coast near Adelaide. Two years later, Dorrigo is leader of a camp of Australian PoWs deep in the dripping teak forests of Siam.


He struggles against the barbarism of nature and the Japanese guards to keep his men alive as cholera, starvation and beatings carry them off.

Staff Pick: ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches’ by Matsuo Bashō

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is no different. It is suffused with poetry: Questions about love and death, guilt and memory, both ghe and collective, and about what remains of us after we die loom large. Dorrigo is not so sure.

It is clear that art offers no protection against the darkest elements of human nature. At the centre of the book is a long, harrowing section cataloguing one pivotal day in the camp that concludes with the death of a prisoner.

Here Flanagan details the work, the punishment, the illness, the food, the camaraderie and the spirit of survival. Dorrigo, as camp doctor, sees the worst of it: Yet the Australians are not the only ones trapped in hell. The Japanese, too, are suffering.

‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’, by Richard Flanagan | Financial Times

Flanagan tells his story from multiple perspectives: The technique is both dizzying and heartbreaking; an entire life encapsulated in a page or two.


Humans are doad one of many things and all these things long to live, and the highest form of living is freedom: Choose your FT trial.

Fiction Add to myFT. Review by Carl Wilkinson August 1, Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause He is attuned to the complexities, cosmic ironies bssho vast human frailties at play.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Yuasa)

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