BEAUTY AND SADNESS by YASUNARI KAWABATA
Translated by HOWARD HIBBETT
206pages. Knopf. $7.95.
Yasunari Kawabata's last novel is a consummately skillful arrangement of space and stillness, a brush drawing of love and vengeance not ultimately convincing, but perhaps ultimately not meant to convince. Yet the novel's measure is that its most fascinating feature may be the face of the writer bleakly regarding the reader from the dust jacket. Scraps of knowledge help: Kawabata, the author of Thousand Cranes and The Master of Go, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1968; he wrote no novel after this one; he killed himself at...