Beauty and Sadness

Beauty and Sadness - Yasunari Kawabata, Howard Hibbett

Seeking revenge for her love, young painter Keiko seduces novelist Toshio, the man who seduced Keiko's mentor thirty years before. As neither the novelist or the older artist Otoko have forgotten their affair, each is perversely lured by the opportunity to use the girl as a stand-in for the other. Toshio concedes that his fictionalization of the affair will remain all that he is remembered by (the characters have all read it, including Toshio's wife who typed the manuscript), but Keiko's confused motivations -- using the novel as a springboard for her jealousy -- illustrate the book as the bastard child that haunts them all.