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. 14 Mar In the s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe. KENZABURO OE’S A PERSONAL MATTER: A NON-WESTERN PERSPECTIVE. Hari Ram Adhikari. BACKGROUND. Among the recent developments in critical.

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Weak-willed and jittery, he refuses to accept the birth of a child with a grotesque lump on its head and crucial genetic deformities. So he gifts us with the strength to endure it instead.

It can be difficult to read because of the brutality of the descriptions and language in the book, but extremely worthwhile.

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? View all 10 comments. He is a failure at life and everything he does. He is devastated by a sense of shame since he has just fathered a monster baby and feels trapped with unforeseen, unwanted responsibilities.

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe

The author won matetr Nobel Prize in Maybe what’s wrong with American Letters today is that not enough people have read this lateth century Japanese masterpiece?!

View all 42 comments. 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 I think one reason I love this book so much is because I really detested it when I started reading it.

Reading A Personal Matter is nothing less than an agonizing experience. Can the redemptive decision of an individual make any difference? Pero el hecho de no haberlo disfrutado I hear you, I feel you. That was when I had a feeling similar to what I felt reading Catch So obviously this is not about A Personal Matter at all. Later, Bird visits his wife in the maternity hospital, facing down her accusations that he is probably planning to abandon both her and the baby whom she knows is ill in the same way as he abandoned his youthful friend, Kikuhiko, whose name she is planning to give their son.


Explore the Home Gift Guide. The next day, Bird and Himiko take the baby from the hospital, planning to take him to a doctor that Himiko knows who has performed abortions and who, Himiko says, will help them get rid of the baby.

The depth of thought, or lack of it, provoked by the situation is startling: Nothing simple for sure. There, Bird encounters his former friend Kikuhiko, and conversation makes Bird realize that he, in effect, has no life to protect from what he believes to be the controlling, dominating influence of his child. 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.

They are so realistic “But it seems that reality compels you to live properly when you live in the real world. He refuses to give him a name or even acknowledge his gender and burden himself with the task of acquainting himself with his newborn son.

Aug 26, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: This renewed outlook swayed him to ‘rescue’ his son. However, throughout Bird’s personal journey and the novel, the role of these characters becomes clear. They suggest he and Himiko follow their dreams and go to Africa together. After the ordeal, he returns to the hospital, sure that his child should have died by now.

And to Birdfrom another parent of a disabled child: Bird is repulsed by the child and spends much of the book simply waiting to be rid of this deformed child. Bird finds Himiko whose husband has recently committed suicide more than willing to share his scotch, but not quite as willing kenzburo drink it as quickly as Bird, who soon becomes intoxicated and passes out in Himiko’s bed. Chapters 11 and Feb 14, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: The book is incredibly dense, every book and author Oe mentions throughout connects to the plot of this book, Hemmingway, Kafka, Blake, Sartre etc.


And when he finally finds hope in a hopeless personxl and sets into motion the long, convoluted process of acceptance, it is not the predictability of this ending which strikes us. These type of circumstances create a constant light on a life that we preferred to keep private. This element of the novel I found subtle and intriguing.

A Personal Matter

Scholastic Success with Writing, Grade 1. Dec kenzabyro, Niles Stanley rated it liked it. The next time someone says sex scenes can not be long and mean something I will point to this book. Bird, the conspiring murderer.

As he goes in search of a telephone to call his mother-in-law to find out how the birth is goinghe reflects on the possibility that being a father will put an end to those dreams, and on his history as an alcoholic. Although Japan in the early sixties places the action into a firm context, global upheavals of the kenzxburo order the women’s liberal movement, political unrest in academia, the Cuban missile crisis give it universal appeal. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

All the characters are vaguely inhuman as well as inhumane. View all 5 comments.