Readers of Kawabata often come away with a general impression of coldness - as if 'snow country', the title of one of his most famous novels, were also an appropriate description of the whole world of his fiction. His novels possess a certain beauty, such readers usually agree, but it is a cold, inhuman beauty, a beauty of surfaces, of an exclusively aesthetic world in which the fine sheen of a woman's skin is savored in exactly the same way as the fine sheen of a piece of pottery. 1 These readers seem tempted to say of Kawabata what Cezanne once said of Monet: 'He is only an eye ...' - though they too may allow, as Cézanne did: 'but what an eye!'