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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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こんな所から気楽に読み始めてみては

 


小川洋子さんと言えば『博士の愛した数式』の訳書、The Housekeeper and the Professor当たりが読みやすいかもしれません。ただ1998年位でた短編集『寡黙な死骸 みだらな弔い』の英訳がでて、NPRはAn NPR Best Book of 2013に選んだそうです。

Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell
by ALAN CHEUSE
February 18, 2013 7:00 AM

ちょうど読み始めていることろですが、読みやすく一話一話も短めなので、取り組みやすいと思います。短編の方が文脈がとれずに理解しにくい場合もありますが、そんなことはなく楽しめます(といっても、ホラーですけど。。。)

11編ある短編から2つをサンプルとして読めることができます。これらを楽しめたら全部に挑戦してみてはいかがでしょうか。

AFTERNOON AT THE BAKERY

THE LAST HOUR OF THE BENGAL TIGER

ホラーちっくなのは最初のAFTERNOON AT THE BAKERYの以下の部分を読んでいただけば感じがつかめると思います。ケーキ屋で話をしているところです。

“I was happy to see they have strawberry shortcake,” I said, pointing at the case. “They’re the real thing. None of that jelly, or too much fruit piled on top, or those little figurines they use for decoration. Just strawberries and cream.”
“You’re right,” she said. “I can guarantee they’re good. The best thing in the shop. The base is made with our special vanilla.”
“I’m buying them for my son. Today is his birthday.”
“Really? Well, I hope it’s a happy one. How old is he?”
“Six. He’ll always be six. He’s dead.”

この本は昨年のEconomistの1月26日号でも書評で取り上げらています。Economistの書評はそれほど網羅的ではないですから、選ばれたのはすごいことだと思います。まあ、書評的にはどうしても日本らしさとやらを見出そうとしてしまうのでしょうが。。。出版社的には村上春樹の後継を探し当てたいという思惑があるようですね。

New Japanese fiction
Slightly off
A haunting introduction to the work of an important Japanese author
Jan 26th 2013 | From the print edition

Ms Ogawa has written more than 20 books and won every big literary prize in Japan. The English translation of her novel “The Housekeeper and the Professor” in 2009 brought her attention and success in America. Publishers keen to spot the next Murakami have now released four of her books in English. Her translator, Stephen Snyder, describes her work as remarkably diverse.

Her novels range from tender to sadomasochistic; her stories are more straightforwardly disturbing. This weird otherworldly quality is deeply Japanese, says Mr Snyder. It is in part a reaction to the glassy perfection of this self-conscious society. Ms Ogawa’s fiction considers what is out of place. She is less concerned with brutality than with loss and absence.

Yet there is a steadying effect in her stories through repeating motifs—a classic technique of Japanese poetry. Rotting food and body parts recur; actors in one story reappear obliquely in others. The result is a spectral connectedness. Ms Ogawa understands the consolations of order within apparent randomness. One story describes a dying man’s cluttered house: “As I studied the mass more closely, I began to feel that it was not the product of random accumulation but that it actually had a coherent form all its own.”
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