Editorial Reviews. Review an astonishing novel — Mother Jones Amazon. com: A Personal Matter eBook: Kenzaburo Oe, John Nathan: Kindle Store. 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. In the s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe.

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Cross post from here: While his wife is still in the hospital and the baby is clinging to life by a thread, he seeks solace by sleeping perzonal a woman friend from times past.

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. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.

A Personal Matter Summary & Study Guide

At each of those moments you survived in one universe and left your own corpse behind in another. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. View a FREE sample.

Deeply touching and whole heartedly personal. A Personal Matter Snippet view – And so we proceed to wrap them up in the protective wadding of false pretensions, carefully hiding them aw Reading A Personal Matter is nothing mattsr than an agonizing experience. This book just moves too slow. 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: There were a few things that made up for the discomfort of following an unlikable character through some horrible behavior.


He desperately wants to escape from everyone and travel to Africa, but his son obviously stops that from happening and may keep him chained down to a miserable life forever. Aug 29, Hadrian rated it it was amazing Shelves: April 1, Sold by: Bird finds Himiko whose husband has recently committed suicide more than willing to share his scotch, but not quite as willing to drink it as quickly as Bird, who soon becomes intoxicated and passes out in Himiko’s bed.

Think of the greatest autobiographers of the past — Augustine, Rousseau, De Quincey, Lowell — and get ready for an Oe who spills his guts more courageously than any of them. Bird, the unfaithful husband.

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. He is a failure at life and everything he does. While 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. May 20, Lee rated it it was amazing Shelves: The next time someone says sex scenes can not be long and mean something I will point to this book.

That is all I am going to say. Like Bird’s inner world, the novel revolves around him, but does not operate in a vacuum.

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Product details File Size: This Japanese literature-related article is a stub. You and I exist in alternate different forms in countless other universes Men are inculcated to hide emotionally. Is this feature helpful? Nothing simple for sure. Bird decides to share it with an old girlfriend, Himiko, and visits her apartment.

A Personal Matter – Wikipedia

This triggers in him a surge of anger which, in turn, transforms into intense sexual energy, which Bird eventually expends on Himiko. One can understand parent’s having to come to terms with a disabled child, but However, haunted by the ordeal of his dying child, Bird is unable to achieve an erection at the mention of the word “pregnancy” and “womb” uttered by Himiko, and ends up resorting to the practice of BDSM.


After finding out that the birth is taking much longer than expected, Bird tests his strength in an arcade where he learns he is weaker than he thinks he should be and with a gang of young toughs in the arcade. Oe found inspiration in confronting his own heartbreaking tragedy through the dignity and courage of the survivors, and from Dr.

Want to Read saving…. The internal psychological struggle that he has to go through makes him feel fear, anger and shame, towards the baby and himself. Even more, often times a reader will find that these characters drive the plot forward.

A Personal Matter Summary & Study Guide

A little while after, Bird goes to Himiko’s house and is proposed by her sexual intercourse, of which he agrees. Trivia About A Personal Matter. Later, after the baby’s head and brain are surgically re-shaped, Bird’s father-in-law comments on how much he Kenzsburo has changed, and how grown-up he now seems.