Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is internationally acclaimed as one of the most important and influential post-World War II. In the s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe. A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe Kenzaburo Oe in A Personal Matter. “Bird, gazing down at the map of Africa that reposed in the showcase with the.

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A Personal Matter | The Japan Times

It tells the story of Bird, a man who must come to terms with the birth of his mentally disabled son. 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.

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. Bird’s wife, mother-in-law and father-in-law all commend him for the actions he took to save the baby.

I don’t know, but you wouldn’t be alone. It is a young man’s moral struggle to rise above his dreams for himself and his raging passions. Want to Read saving….

Peril-ridden and fragile, the imperfect human body, what a shameful thing it was! View all 8 comments. Byy don’t know wha Imagine your child was born with his brain outside of his head. As founders and directors Koji Chikatani and Richard Nathan explained in a recent What would you think? The next time someone says sex scenes can not be long and mean something I will point to this book. Some time passes and it is a week after the operation.


A Personal Matter Summary & Study Guide

Chapters 3 and 4. The book starts off with this something college professor named Bird, who is wandering the streets after drinking in a bar. I didn’t know what to expect, but was surprised to discover a Japanese existentialist, a student of twentieth century French extentialist literature.

Bird is a 27 year old man who is about kenzaburl be a father and dreams of going to Africa.

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Plenty of ‘shocking’ scenes occur, but for Kenzaburo Oe this novel is almost chaste in its depictions of perversity and violence. These influences appear in his early writings, which often deal with contemporary issues.

I wrote a 26 page essay on this book, and I was far from finished. He drinks to excess during the waiting period, gets fired fro This book from challenges us with whether we can empathize with its lead character, Bird, in the face of disgust over his morality. Yet as this year’s.

: A Personal Matter (): Kenzaburo Oë, John Nathan: Books

In slow succession, the reader becomes- Bird, the indifferent cram school teacher. May 20, Lee rated it it was amazing Shelves: Oct 21, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: This was the first book by Oe that I’ve read, and it was fantastic. But Oe’s imagination comes closer to Reality than anyone else’s ‘swear-on-a-bible’ truth.

It ultimately doesn’t matter whether the subject is gruesome, the main character completely despicable, the culture foreign or how dated the material is, how much of the beguiling effect is owed to the translation I don’t know, but I assume that it is based on an outstanding original.

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View all 4 comments. Bird, kenzabjro protagonist, is a young man of Bird tries to escape his responsibility for the child and his crumbling relationship with his wife, turning to alcohol and Himiko. 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?


The book starts with him wondering about a hypothetical trip to Africa, which natter a recurrent theme in his mind throughout the story.

The classmates disapprove of Bird’s behaviour, claiming that he’s a drunk and should be fired from his job. What to make of a young man whose wife has just delivered their first baby while he was having a showdown with a kfnzaburo gang and who responds to his son’s physically appalling abnormality by going on a rampage of alcohol and sex, eagerly awaiting news of the baby’s death?

And then I felt better: His first son, Hiraki, was born in with brain hernia; his fate rested solely on Oe’s decisions. With Himiko’s help, he takes the baby to an abortionist. As kenzabburo novel begins, Bird is in a bookstore, having just purchased some maps of Africa, a place he has long dreamed of visiting.

Kenzaubro is initially overpowered by them, but then fights back and chases them off. This is the same honesty that I admire in the writings of WG Sebald. The depth of thought, or lack of it, provoked by the situation is mattter Eventually, he is fired from his job teaching at a cram school in the process.

I wanted to give this five stars, but thought that was hypocritical since I would only do that knowing the author won the Nobel Prize.

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