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Jan. 6th, 2006 | 01:06 pm
posted by: ex_mthrtong in 2006_books

I have started reading A Quiet Life by Kenzaburo Oe (1990). Any other writings of his that you've enjoyed? At 50 pages, I'm definitely caught up in the story (young adult woman taking care of her brain-damaged younger brother while her parents are away), but Japanese-to-English translations frustrate me. Knowing absolutely no Japanese, it's often unclear where to attribute the idiosyncracies: to the narrator, to the cultural difference, or to the act of translation itself. Interestingly, A Quiet Life is often self-conscious or self-aware or examining of language; the narrator talks about the various euphemisms used by her family, the vocabularies of her siblings, the way her own emotions become words.

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