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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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注意! 二つとも同じ作品です

 

The BriefcaseThe Briefcase
(2012/04/10)
Hiromi Kawakami

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Strange Weather in TokyoStrange Weather in Tokyo
(2013/08/01)
Hiromi Kawakami

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川上弘美さんの『センセイの鞄』を読み終わりましたが、英語学習的にも日本の小説を英語で読むのは、以下の理由からオススメです。

>日本が舞台なので背景知識が豊富にあるので意味が推測しやすい
>翻訳なので比較的読みやすくなっている

ただ、村上春樹だとか、夏目漱石だとか肩に力を入れるのではなく、楽しむつもりで読み始めるのが一番だと思います。英訳されている日本文学の有名どころについてはJapan Timesが新連載をはじめたので英語でどのように紹介されているか確認してしまえばとりあえずは十分でしょう。今週はよしもとばななのキッチンでした。

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

脱線しましたが、『センセイの鞄』はBriefcaseとStrange Weather in Japanという二つのタイトルで出版されているのでご留意ください。例えば、『センセイの鞄』を絶賛してくれているレビューの方もStrange Weather in Japanが出版前だったので、勘違いされていました。

THURSDAY, 31 JANUARY 2013
'The Briefcase' by Hiromi Kawakami (Review)

All in all, The Briefcase is an excellent book, well drawn out and thoroughly believable. There are a few moments of kitch, and a little melodrama towards the close of the novel, but Kawakami rescues it nicely with the ending. I'll certainly be getting myself a copy of Manazuru at some point, and
I'm already looking forward to the new one in English (Strange Weather from Tokyo), out from Portobello Books later this year - as you may have gathered, this was just a retitled UK version of The Briefcase :(. All that remains to say is that if you haven't read this, you could do worse than give it a try...

...oh, and good luck to Kawakami for the Man Asian Literary Prize :)

Strange weather in Japanというタイトルにしたのは、日本の香りをさせた方が売れると見込んだからでしょうか。林ナツミさんの表紙も目を引きますね。

‘Strange Weather in Tokyo’ Book Review
August 19, 2013 by Editor
Elegantly encapsulating an essence of ‘Japaneseness’; with all the elusive paradoxes that entails, this mesmerising book offers a read that is somehow light and breezy, yet possessing of literary depth. Nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2013, ‘Strange Weather in Tokyo’ is so much more than a romance novel about two lonely people who find solace in each other’s company.

Plain with the truth, the tone of the narrative is confessional. Bored, thirty-seven year old office worker Tsukiko gets to know Sensei, a man thirty year her senior. She recognises him from her own school days and they both enjoy drinking in a local bar. Socially awkward, she makes no bones about the fact that she goes there specifically to drink. Drink a lot. And eat. Socialising is incidental. A love of sake, beer and traditional Japanese dishes brings the two together, on and off throughout the year. As the seasons pass, the odd couple indulge their appetites, but restrain their feelings.

このレビューでは林ナツミさんの表紙写真についても軽く触れています。

By the way, if you like the cover image, check out more of Yowayowa Camera Woman’s amazing images on her website here.

彼女の作品は東京都写真美術館でも現在出展されているようです。

路上から世界を変えていく
日本の新進作家vol.12
会 期: 2013年12月7日 ( 土 ) ~ 2014年1月26日 ( 日 )

洋書で充実しているのは、Reading Guideですね。本の最後に掲載しているものもあります。この作品のReading Guideも出版社のサイトにありました。

Reading guide for Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami


In Brief
An old-fashioned romance set in modern day Tokyo...

In Detail
Strange Weather in Tokyo is about a woman’s relationship with an older man that blossoms against the odds. Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink saké, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms. As this odd couple spend more and more time together, their friendship deepens and gradually becomes something more.

********

Reading Group Questions for Strange Weather in Tokyo
‘When I tried to think whom I spent time with before I became friendly with Sensei, no-one came to mind. I had been alone. I rode the bus alone, I walked around the city alone, I did my shopping alone, and I drank alone.’

1. Before she meets Sensei, Tsukiko is living by herself in a big city, working a job that doesn’t interest her. How do you relate to Tsukiko’s experience of loneliness?

2. Do you think that Strange Weather in Tokyo is a love story? What about it is conventional and what is unconventional?

3. How does Kawakami portray Tokyo?

英語で日本に触れる体験もいいものです。
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Yuta

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