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Book Title: Dornröschenschlaf: Drei Erzählungen von der Nacht|
The author of the book: Banana Yoshimoto
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 450 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1980 times
Reader ratings: 3.1
Date of issue: January 2001
ISBN 13: 9783257232646
Read full description of the books:
I find Banana Yoshimoto's style so distinctive, full of feelings and sensations expressed with touching openness, so unassuming and informal. Under this limpid surface, as under the millpond skin of fairytale, meanings proliferate like living fishes, flickering in and out of view. The story is gifted to the reader with humble generosity; I have this for you, the giver says, and what you'll use it for isn't up to me.
There are some moments when corroborations give the little narratives what feels to me like an overly neat coherence, those times when Yoshimoto reminds me, unfortunately, of Milan Kundera. Yet even when I feel this way, as when Fumi touches the handle of the forbidden door and feels its terrible energy, the impression is diffused by the incidental accidental heartbreaking quality of the detail, which brings to my mind (probably inappropriately) Roland Barthes' idea of 'the filmic'. Why does the stuffy little room where the dead meet the living have worn red sofas? Is this room, with its tired, heavy familiarity, recognisably a product of a distinctively Japanese imagination?
The title story/novella in particular doesn't lack ambiguity. Terako's descent into permanent sleepiness seems to parallel both the troubles of her friend Shiori and the comatose wife of her boyfriend, but the links between them are loose like the co-incidences of real life that we read according to our various standpoints, transformed by the infusion of Yoshimoto's feel for symmetry and symbiosis, her making-whole of the world. The resolution worked with difficulty and help by Terako seems wrought out of a creative fusion of folklore and modern lifestyles. Spiritual places and people are never more remote than the other side of a shadow here, and though they are sometimes scary, contact with them is associate with Yoshimoto's theme of returning to health, perhaps in the way that Giorgio de Chirico described the world as convalescent the day he went out recovering from illness and had a vision he painted so many times afterwards.
It's this feel for connections that I love in Banana's writing. It extends from structures to interactions, so sweetly simple, open and direct in a way people in my own culture never seem to be, and into relationships, where people seem to take deep, honest pleasure in each other, in shared moments however trivial. I read to learn.
All three stories have female narrators, and reflect positively on relationships between women. In that, and in the warm, uncluttered relationships between brothers and sisters, girlfriends and boyfriends, they are a relief, fresh air. They extend an invitation to feel differently, through the senses and through the heart however wounded, to feel simply and attend to the blissful comfort of soft sand under your bare toes or a sweet memory drifting into a dream, and then to take than receptiveness to pleasure into all your relationships.
It's true I think that Banana Yoshimoto's narrator is always the same person, for all her interiority and however much her names, background, circumstances and impulses vary, her voice doesn't. One reviewer calls it the voice of a generation, of Tokyo youth. This class strikes me as privileged and self-absorbed, but I can't help but admire the avidity and passion they invest in such activities as waking from sleep or planning a date, I can't help but be smitten by their mutualism, their joy in each other. The insulated, private experience Yoshimoto so fluidly communicates resonates in me a certain nostalgia for my fairly unhappy teens. It reminds me that sometimes just holding it together, just getting through the day, is enough of a victory.
This nostalgia reminds us that we need our age-mates. Here is a video that makes me feel it to the point of tears = )
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Read information about the authorBanana Yoshimoto (よしもと ばなな or 吉本 ばなな) is the pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto (吉本 真秀子), a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana. (See also 吉本芭娜娜 (Chinese).)
Along with having a famous father, poet Takaaki Yoshimoto, Banana's sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a well-known cartoonist in Japan. Growing up in a liberal family, she learned the value of independence from a young age.
She graduated from Nihon University's Art College, majoring in Literature. During that time, she took the pseudonym "Banana" after her love of banana flowers, a name she recognizes as both "cute" and "purposefully androgynous."
Despite her success, Yoshimoto remains a down-to-earth and obscure figure. Whenever she appears in public she eschews make-up and dresses simply. She keeps her personal life guarded, and reveals little about her certified Rolfing practitioner, Hiroyoshi Tahata and son (born in 2003). Instead, she talks about her writing. Each day she takes half an hour to write at her computer, and she says, "I tend to feel guilty because I write these stories almost for fun."
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