eBook Kenzaburō Ōe Ç 個人的な体験 Kojinteki na Taiken PDF ☆ Ç

Kenzaburō Ōe the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature is internationally acclaimed as one of the most important and influential post World War II writers known for his powerful accounts of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and his own struggle to come to terms with a mentally handicapped son The Swedish Academy lauded Ōe for his poetic force that creates an imagined world where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament todayHis most personal book A Personal Matter is the story of Bird a frustrated intellectual in a failing marriage whose utopian dream is shattered when his wife gives birth to a brain damaged child


10 thoughts on “個人的な体験 Kojinteki na Taiken

  1. says:

    Not a pretty story The main character is a man who has just learned that his wife gave birth to a boy with a deformed head and brain damage His primary feelings about the baby are shame and disgust He thinks of the baby as “the monstrosity” and the “vegetable baby”It seems impossible today in western culture at least to see how much in male dominated Japan the mother of the child was left in ignorance of all that was happening It’s disturbing to see how her husband her own mother and the doctors all keep her in the dark They take the baby away from her without her seeing its obvious deformity and tell her only that “it has a minor heart problem” The father assumes the baby will die and then he will tell his wife He thinks “Today I’ll mourn the baby alone tomorrow I’ll report our misfortune to my wife” About the baby he tells his woman friend “You’re right about this being limited to me it’s entirely a personal matter” Thus the book’s title view spoiler He initially denies permission for an operation that will help the baby removes the baby from the hospital and he and his woman friend take the baby to a shady clinic in the slums where a “doctor” will ensure that the baby will die from malnutrition But eventually he decides to allow the operation and keep the baby hide spoiler


  2. says:

    Reading A Personal Matter is nothing less than an agonizing experience It almost feels like somebody poking at and opening up our most secret suppurating psychological wounds and making them bleed all over again thereby compelling us to wake up to the realization of their existence These scars and bruises make their presence known time and again by causing us pain of the highest order And so we proceed to wrap them up in the protective wadding of false pretensions carefully hiding them away from the scrutiny of the rest of the world and importantly ourselvesBut Kenzaburō Ōe does not only wish to cause us pain He also forces us to acknowledge its perpetuity accept it and achieve a state of harmony with itWith every turn of a page we find ourselves plunging deeper into the bottomless pit of shame self loathing and sheer grief along with Bird our protagonist But Ōe breaks our fall right when we feel we are about to land with a resounding thud and teaches us how to rise how to summon the courage to confront grim reality and reconcile ourselves with the cruelties inflicted by fateBird nickname a young man of twenty seven keeps drifting in and out of consciousness throughout the length of the narrative While walking along a busy Tokyo street he is capable of sparing a thought for his pregnant wife experiencing labour pains at the hospital and alternately seeking escapism in the form of dreaming about landscapes of Africa a continent he desperately wishes to visit some day He neither seems to feel passionately about his wife nor about the job at the cram school he has landed thanks to the benevolence of his father in law In a sense he is apathetic to his own life but we are shown that he is not immune from feelings of embarrassmentWeak willed and jittery he refuses to accept the birth of a child with a grotesue lump on its head and crucial genetic deformities He is appalled to hear his baby would never grow up as a normal child and shamelessly gives in to feelings of utter relief when he hears from the doctor that chances of his baby's survival are next to none Although immediately afterwards he suffers from a keen self hatred Over the course of the next few days like the most cowardly criminal ever he plots his own baby's murder by conspiring with the doctor to substitute his supply of milk with sweetened water and when that fails by taking the baby to the clinic of a shady abortionist Yet at the same time he shudders in revulsion at the thought of having to kill a helpless sick little child with his bare hands He fears being in the presence of his wife and mother in law both of whom seem to blame him for everything and seeks solace in violent sex with an old lover Thus Bird seems to possess no redeeming characteristics whatsoever He is a failure at life and everything he does He is selfish to the point of entertaining ideas of running away with his lover to Africa abandoning all his responsibilities He only views his biological child as a callously assembled defective mass of flesh blood and bone He refuses to give him a name or even acknowledge his gender and burden himself with the task of acuainting himself with his newborn son Bird is despicable in the true sense of the termBut then at the same time Bird is also the very personification of all our worst human weaknesses He disgusts the reader but he also evokes feelings of sympathy and solidarity Because if we maybe honest enough with ourselves there's a Bird in each one of us and his deformed baby is merely a symbol of the indignities of our own personal existence Slowly as the days trickle by after the birth of the unwanted child Bird starts viewing the entity he repeatedly refers to as 'the monster baby' as a human offspring blessed with the powers of sensation and expression It seems this indisputable fact had eluded him so farThus begins Bird's gradual transformation which the reader witnesses with mixed feelings As he comes full circle traversing the seemingly infinite distance between madness and sanity so does the readerAnd when 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 usRather we are moved by the truth in Bird's realizations and actions Ōe has written about such a deeply personal aspect of his life being the father to a brain damaged son himself with a mastery truly characteristic of a Nobel Laureate His writing isn't wordy or verbose yet it hits the reader's most vulnerable spot every time and makes one feel raw and cut up deep inside The baby was no longer on the verge of death; no longer would the sweet easy tears of mourning melt it away as if it were a simple jelly The baby continued to live and it was oppressing Bird even beginning to attack him Swaddled in skin as red as shrimp which gleamed with the luster of scar tissue the baby was beginning ferociously to live dragging its anchor of a heavy lump He does not want us to shed copious tears at the misfortunes that befall Bird or feel only an acute hatred for his indecision but experience the entire gamut of human actions and emotions no matter how blasphemous or socially condemnable each one of them maybeIn slow succession the reader becomes Bird the indifferent cram school teacherBird the day dreamerBird the miserable failure of a manBird the conspiring murdererBird the unfaithful husbandAnd at the very end Bird the accepting fatherAs one plows along it becomes apparent that Ōe's aim has not been self indulgent or cathartic story telling but instead to take the whole world along on an immensely difficult journey he must have embarked on all alone at some point Thus A Personal Matter ceases to be just about a personal matter somewhere Instead it becomes one of the most life affirming stories ever meant to serve as a panacea for the ones suffering from the affliction of an undignified existence Ōe knows all too well that he cannot make the pain go away So he gifts us with the strength to endure it instead


  3. says:

    Not in the Travel BrochuresNothing about Japan neither its culture nor its institutions not to say its people is portrayed with any sympathy in A Personal Matter The tragedy of a grotesuely deformed child while disconcerting and disruptive to everyone concerned family hospital staff employer is no than that “They were glimpsing an infinitesimal crack in the flat surface of everyday life and the sight filled them with innocent awe”The universal desire seems to be for escape not just from one’s circumstances or from the constraints of modern living but from organic life itself Everything about the human body is disgusting from the description of female genitalia directly after birth to the forced vomiting of the residue of a bottle of Scotch to the ‘brain hernia’ of the child Sex is either rape or routine self indulgence Eating is of the coarsest fast food Sleep is a time of nightmares Social relations are either violent or exploitative Kindness is unknownAll the characters are vaguely inhuman as well as inhumane Bird the protagonist wanders the streets aimlessly and gets into fistfights while his wife is in labour His ex girlfriend Himiko when not having sex with strangers meditates all day on a ramifying uantum universe and drives her MG sports car around all night eually aimlessly The father law law hearing of his deformed grandson’s birth provides Bird with a bottle of whisky knowing he is an alcoholic The mother in law refuses even to make eye contact with Bird Bird’s wife is a mere cypher of maternal concernThe depth of thought or lack of it provoked by the situation is startling “Does a vegetable suffer?” The child at most is a medical case study and interesting autopsy At a time one would expect of intense grief Bird’s principle worry is about himself “Bird was terrified of being responsible for any mishap in the world of present time” Kenzaburo seems to be locating the tragedy not with the infant but with the entire society in which the infant happens to appearSo obviously this is not about A Personal Matter at all The irony clearly is meant to enmesh all of Japanese life in this single incident Can the redemptive decision of an individual make any difference? Beyond that it seems to me impossible for a non Japanese to comment Not a book therefore likely to be suggested reading by the Japanese Tourist Agency


  4. says:

    People love this damn book but I wanted to climb inside the pages and tip our hero into a cement mixer so he could become part of the foundations of the new Tokyo and therefore perform the only useful act in his miserable life I mean fucking hell get a grip


  5. says:

    Imagine your child was born with his brain outside of his head How would you feel? What would you think? Would a very small part of you think maybe it would be better for everyone if he didn't survive? What if part of you couldn't stop thinking if he survives my life will become much less fun? What if part of you thought I didn't even completely want a kid in the first place much less this disaster? What if part of you was like this is going to screw up my vacation plans? I don't know what I would think I've been to dark places but not this dark and it'd be presumptuous to think I might know what it'd bring out in me Japanese Nobel winner Kenzaburō Ōe has been here though in his actual life and there's no reaction too dark no shame too personal for him to confess on paper in this lacerating nightmare of a novel My son was wounded on a dark and lonely battlefield that I have never seen says his semiautobiographical protagonist Bird and he has arrived with his head in bandages He proceeds to get drunk with his mistress for several days straight They're waiting for the child to die of his dreadful birth defects He tries to help it along ordering him fed only on sugar water instead of milk But the baby continued to live and it was oppressing Bird even beginning to attack him Swaddled in skin as red as shrimp which gleamed with the luster of scar tissue the baby was beginning ferociously to live dragging its anchor of a heavy lump A vegetable existence? Maybe so; a deadly cactus Bird starts to panic as the child refuses to die How can we spend the rest of our lives my wife and I with a monster baby riding on our backs? Somehow I must get away from the monster baby If I don't ah what will become of my trip to Africa? If that sounds absolutely appalling it absolutely is and I found it to be a deeply disturbing andand kind book Because what's Ōe done here? He's laid open this abyss of humanity right? What if you did have a crisis like this? What if you had a reaction like this even a tiny bit like this? What kind of monster would you be? I don't know but you wouldn't be alone Ōe has rappelled down there to keep you company It's infinitely brave and this is my favorite book of the year so far I hope you never see this kind of pain but if you do I hope you remember this book Also I hope you don't have a cool vacation planned


  6. says:

    It's often said that reading fiction develops one's capacity for empathy Novels like this put that notion to the testThe author Kenzaburo Oe has a son who was born with his brain partially outside of his head during a time when Japan's sense of public decorum didn't really allow for that sort of thing and Bird the protagonist in A Personal Matter is a heightened version of himself a golem formed out of some of the unpleasant thoughts and feelings Oe had about it during that time What follows is a deep exploration into shame avoidance and trauma It really is uite an ugly book but it has to be to explore those kinds of themesAnd it is a personal matter but it can be appreciated on various levels Regardless of whether we agree with many of Bird's decisions throughout within his particular circumstances sooner or later most of us will find ourselves in a situation where it feels as though we're in a tunnel with no light at the end only to realise we were running in the wrong direction Arguably it could also be applied to Japan as a whole In the aftermath of WW2 the country found itself on uncertain footing but naturally it would have to accept the cards it was dealt and actively shape a future for itself view spoilerjust as Bird does hide spoiler


  7. says:

    You and I exist in alternate different forms in countless other universesAt each of those moments you survived in one universe and left your own corpse behind in another Kenzaburo Oe A Personal Matter Bird the protagonist is confronted by a grave problem a problem that threatens his future freedom in life a deformed baby He is devastated by a sense of shame since he has just fathered a monster baby and feels trapped with unforeseen unwanted responsibilities In the face of his grotesue tragedy envisioning his future destroyed his continuity broken and freedom denied Bird goes through a pattern of decline that reveals all the vileness and ugliness of a man He plummets into a series of debauched actions self loathing and self destruction He sees a monster reflected in himself as repulsive as his neo creation Through the course of the narrative Oe moves his personal matter subtly with political social and existential thoughts concerning man's being his fear dread suffering alienation anguish and death There is the suggestion that the deformity is possibly caused by radioactive contamination In this age of ours it's hard to say with certainty that having lived was better than not having been born in the first place Bird himself finds his own nature distorted and poisonous blaming himself personally for bringing a severely deformed child into a world where there would be no acceptance of him nor an acceptable place for him Under what category of the Dead could you subpoena prosecute and sentence a baby with only vegetable functions who died no sooner than he was born? Oe explores moral and philosophical themes as Bird has to make a choice to take responsibility or run away to face or look away from the atrocity; to make the decision that would result in his 'vegetable' baby dying with dignity or being killed in shame a decision that eats away insidiously at his sanityA Personal Matter's themes of deception and escape authentic life and self identity raises the novel to a universal concept Oe explores how the individual in confronting life's tragedies in choosing his ideals and finding his meaning overcomes humiliation and shame gains self definition finds his destiny to eventually get on with life; and in so doing finds personal dignity and a sense of responsibility to his fellow manAnd to Bird from another parent of a disabled child I hear you I feel you The only direction you need to take would come from the one who truly personally matters I chose you dear father to hold my hand Let's walk the same roadBe bravefollow me I'll show you who you can be Oe's childhood years occurred during wartime an important fact that shaped his writingHis first son Hiraki was born in 1963 with brain hernia; his fate rested solely on Oe's decisions It forced him to reflect on the meaning in his stories which up to that point in his mind amounted to nothing The central theme of his writing since then has been the way his family has managed to live with and care for a handicapped childWhile in Hiroshima reporting on an anti nuclear rally an event that occurred soon after Hiraki's birth Oe met survivors of Hiroshima's bombing and had conversations with Dr Shigeto himself a survivor who had devoted his career to caring for victims of the A bomb atrocity Oe found inspiration in confronting his own heartbreaking tragedy through the dignity and courage of the survivors and from Dr Shigeto's dedication to a hopeless cause The Hiroshima visit was the transforming experience that forever changed his view of what it means to be humanIt ultimately led to in his own words a rebirth of his writing style This renewed outlook swayed him to 'rescue' his son Living with a disabled family member we come to know despair but by actually giving it expression we can be healed and know the joy of recovering Kenzaburo OeHiraki Oe has composed and recorded 2 distinctive works to date yeah highly recommendRead April 2014


  8. says:

    I followed up on Oe once I finished his book I had no prior knowledge of this Japanese writer who won the Nobel Prize in the 1960’s According to a couple of reports read this was a memoir of sorts although it is categorized as fictionBird the protagonist has a situation that worries most young parents His pregnant wife is introduced to us shortly before she gives birth The baby enters this world with potential brain damage unbeknownst to his wife the mother Only Bird is informed of this; his partner is currently not conscious the baby swept from the room as is usually the case directly after birthThe doctors have advised the new father that a brain surgery must be performed immediately to save the child The surgeon makes no guarantees as to the outcome although there is a very good chance that the child if he survives an operation will be no intelligible than cod in miso sauceOe the author now eighty three years old has a brain damaged son It is apparent that this condition has consumed his thoughts for an entire life And what does one sometimes do with personal tragedy we write about it And then we uickly down two shots of Jose CuervoThis story in my estimation is by a man who has been affected by the random hand of providence and has yet to manifest within ‘acceptance’ Ach who among us is not fragile? Who among us has not felt even once that we were handed a uniuely bad card?Bird however is in ‘fight or flight’ mode Any decision he makes is fraught with conseuences most of them negative It has happened to many of us who are weighed down by the ignominy we feel when the door to our lives is opened for all to see We should not be but many times we are These type of circumstances create a constant light on a life that we preferred to keep private We cannot escape the attention; we would choose obscurity It reminds me of the homeless who live lives in the open for all to see and evaluate After a period they do not seem to care Which is probably a healthy response Men are inculcated to hide emotionally Japanese men are exponentially handicapped in this department This becomes a wonderful literary device to create tension throughout the story Oe is not a rookie That is all I am going to say I would like you to enjoy reading this and to draw your own conclusions


  9. says:

    I think one reason I love this book so much is because I really detested it when I started reading it Like I really really hated the main character The book starts off with this 20 something college professor named Bird who is wandering the streets after drinking in a bar His wife is in the hospital having a child and Bird is enjoying a mud bath of self hatred 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 Anyway his wife has the baby and the child has an obvious physical and possibly mental deformity This all happens in the first 10 pages so I'm not spoiling anything It seems as if Bird's whole world falls apart now and he goes on something of a benderAnyway 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 He was so bitter about his child never celebrated the child's birth no love or appreciation or thankfulness was expressed toward his wife and child at first I thought Is this kind of reaction normal and accepted for a Japanese man in the 1960s?? I loathed Bird for being so self centeredI picked the book up again and got into it That was when I had a feeling similar to what I felt reading Catch 22 I was really frustrated with the characters and their actions and then eureka I suddenly got the joke Just like Catch 22 I was SUPPOSED to loathe these characters This is SUPPOSED to make me furious I realized Bird was an untrustworthy narrator because I only got his perspective and I really had to step outside the book and realize he was not presenting reality only his warped perception of it And then I felt better Needless to say I finished the book and really became involved with the characters and their thought processes I actually did appreciate Bird's ugly brutal piercing honesty throughout He wasn't always likable but at least he didn't pretend otherwise But I was so involved in Bird's thoughts that I felt gobsmacked when I got to the end Overall a very compelling book


  10. says:

    If you've never read this one and you're looking for a shortish novel that rocked hard enough to win the dude the Nobel Prize something you can read before the weekend ends something with serious existential historical and cultural HEFT but also relatively easy reading here ya go I taught this in a lit class last fall and several students said it was the best book they'd ever read Easily in the top ten for me When people talk about perfect novels an idea I totally glower at I think of this as an example gets better and better with rereading too Bird is not a very good dude for 99% of the novel but that's the point for the other 1% Anyway I find it sort of disheartening that only one of my friends some dude I don't even really know has rated it Maybe what's wrong with American Letters today is that not enough people have read this late 20th century Japanese masterpiece?