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Editorial Reviews. Review an astonishing novel — Mother Jones Amazon. com: A Personal Matter eBook: Kenzaburo Oe, John Nathan: Kindle Store. by Kenzaburo Oe Translated from Japanese by John Nathan His most popular book, A Personal Matter is the story of Bird, a frustrated intellectual in a failing. In the s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe.

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His works, strongly influenced by French and American literature and literary theory, engage with political, social and philosophical issues including nuclear weapons, social non-conformism and existentialism. I was really frustrated with the characters and their actions, and then eureka, I suddenly got the joke. After being told that he and Himiko should follow through on their dreams of ie Africa together, Bird receives word that his baby is almost strong enough to have the operation that may seal his brain in his skull properly.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. He thinks, I’ve wasted my life, I don’t really want to be a father, I’m not as attractive to women as I used to be, blah blah blah. He also forces us to acknowledge its perpetuity, accept it and achieve a state of harmony with it.

And I hated reading it.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It is a wonderful feeling for a reader to read a book that has a strong ongoing plot with mature and very well build characters. However, haunted by the ordeal of his dying child, Bird is unable to achieve an erection at the mention of the word “pregnancy” and “womb” uttered by Himiko, and ends up resorting to the practice of BDSM. Bird is constantly faced by his failures and triggers for self-loathing. It can be difficult to read because of the brutality of the descriptions and language in the book, but extremely worthwhile.

The Magic Flute is not Mozart’s greatest opera.

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe

Maybe what’s wrong with American Letters today is that not enough people have read this lateth century Japanese masterpiece?! This was slight, but again, a reason I couldn’t give this five stars though I think this is an important book and despite how hard it was to read, it moved along at a good clip. Father, what will happen to me when I die? Grove Press kenzaburoo, – Fiction – pages.

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And then I felt better: One or two places I felt like the text was confusing for no good reason, or possibly even due to an error either by the author or the translator. After a short philosophical discussion, both become drunk and Bird sleeps at Himiko’s, only to wake up on the morning after in a deep state of hangover from all the whisky he had drunk the day before. I recommend this book to any reader who wants to enjoy a well-written book. There is no doubt in my mind that A Personal Matter is a skilfully executed piece of literature.

Sending Japanese literature westward Red Circle Authors, a unique endeavor in the publishing world, aims to connect East and West through literature.

Have I ever considered that a cabbage being munched by a goat was in pain? As Bird struggles to embrace this “monster” as his son, he leaves his wife behind in the personql and enters in more ways than one into the life of a college classmate who is grieving her young husband’s suicide.

Peril-ridden and fragile, the imperfect human body, what a shameful thing it was! AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Social relations are either violent or exploitative. While his wife is in hospital giving birth he is off buying maps of Africa for a fantasy trip.

What if part of you was like, this is going to screw up my vacation plans?

A Personal Matter

The relentless honesty with which Oe portrays his hero — or antihero — makes Bird one of the most unforgettable characters in recent fiction. View all 4 comments. What if you did have mattwr crisis like this? Anyway, this is the point where I put the book down because I really didn’t like Bird, and I felt so sorry for his wife and his new child.

I loved the sex scenes, again disturbing, but they felt very raw and honest and it is so refreshing to read literary men who are not afraid to go there, and more than once! What to make of a young man whose wife has personxl delivered their first baby while he was having a showdown with a street gang and who responds to his This book is a perfect example of how good writing conquers all.


View all 8 comments. By the end I came to care for Bird and jatter judge him too much. Japanese men are exponentially more handicapped in this department. I hear you, I feel you. He is devastated by a sense of shame since he has just fathered a monster baby and mtter trapped with unforeseen, unwanted responsibilities. His ex-girlfriend, Himiko, when not having sex with strangers, meditates all day on perzonal ramifying quantum universe, and drives her MG sports car around all night, equally aimlessly.

He tries to help it along, ordering him fed only on sugar water instead of milk. With the birth of his deformed son, father and son became the new focus of his work. Return to Book Page. And persoanl he finally finds hope in a hopeless place and sets into motion the long, convoluted process of acceptance, it is not the predictability of this ending which strikes us. Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Back at Himiko’s apartment, Bird and Himiko wait for news of the baby from the second hospital, and considering Bird’s maps of Africa, which Himiko is starting to find interesting.

Until the last chapter, however, this is a novel of lenzaburo searing emotional terror that most readers will be grateful for its unexpected ‘hopeful’ ending. He is initially overpowered by them, but then fights back and chases them off. From the Nobel Prize—winning author: Bird is troubled by the revelation, and regrets having to inform the relatives of his wife about the facts concerning the state of the child, who is not expected to survive for long.