January Japanese Literature Challenge 16

This lovely challenge is coming soon, as Dolce Bellezza, the creator, tells us, and I am excited, picking possible titles for it. We both, among many others, share a love and admiration for Ishiguro. Not long ago, I bought a few of his books that I was missing from my collection. For the challenge, I do intend to read one or more of his titles.

Come Rain or Come Shine is certainly super short. I will read it and add it to the reviews of other books. A Pale View of Hills, if I end up reading it, is a re-read for me. Re-reading is a great topic among readers. A book re-readability varies highly. Like some songs, some I never tire of listening to, or re-reading some titles. Don Quijote, -part 1 in particular-, is a book I can go back indefinitely. Ishiguro’s books too. I’ve re-read some of them and, especially if someone joins me, I’m usually up for a re-read. After reading Clara and the Sun, I’m convinced that A Pale View of Hills is his other book most directly connected to A Pale View of Hills.

Monet studied and rendered many versions of his lily pads. Ishiguro’s books are variations of his topics of interest. Nocturnes is a short stories collection, and The Review of Contemporary Fiction includes him. This last one won’t count as a book for the challenge, but I will attempt reading it, his contribution in particular.

I also have Spring Snow, by Jukio Mishima. Another present from Janakay. She really has spoiled me through the years. We both moved around the same time, and that led to us relocating our libraries from house to house, which resulted in the expected book purge, finding duplicates -specially her-, and thanks to her generosity, I inherited beautiful editions and great titles. I am the beneficiary of her good and adventurous taste. The blurb indicates that Spring Snow is the first in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, and it’s also a classic, since it was published serially in Shinchō from 1965 to 1967.

I am very spoiled. Here you see another gift, this time from my dear reader and blogger friend Kim. One, or maybe even her ultimate favorite author, is Jane Austen. She read and enjoyed this fan fiction book, Miss Austen, and it looks like I will too. She’ll also re-read Pride and Prejudice, and I may as well. It looks like I’m a social reader 🙂

This is all for now. Soon, I hope to bring you a review of a book I’m enjoying as I hadn’t done with a new to me book and author in a long time. Another Janakay’s present, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears. It’s a short story collection, 201 pages, stories ranging between 3 to 5 pages. There’s a strong connection between them by means of the setting and all of them having, as I read, marginalized people and women as their protagonists. The word marginalized sounds negative to me, however. I have never liked to pay which I believe could be forced agenda driven attention to a group, country, affiliation, background, etc. And yet, as I start reading and I see urban characters, female characters, I can’t but appreciate the fact that this author’s observes those who haven’t been seen or portraited much before, call that marginalized. I resonate with the emotional atmosphere of the book, and I’m grateful for Janakay, who through her literary gifts, has brought many women authors to my knowledge.

14 thoughts on “January Japanese Literature Challenge 16

  1. What an astute observation, Cathy. What is cliché or mere branding, and what is the profound investigation of a subject, topics, or processes. I agree with your answer, C.S Lewis said it too, I believe, we just recognize it. (He meant things that make a classic a classic versus the more limited books. He put this outside of the reader’s opinion but linked to the reading process. For example, classics are always being read and they avail themselves to fresh readings and many interactions and interpretations. I may not “like” a book, but if it’s a classic it’s a classic, and we know it. As for contemporary lit., time will tell. Some don’t find Ishiguro an author of weight, but I believe that some of his books will survive time and be considered classics.

  2. ‘Monet studied and rendered many versions of his lily pads. Ishiguro’s books are variations of his topics of interest. ‘ Since discovering that painters often do the same thing over and over, it’s made me wonder what exactly is the difference between that and the many writers who seem to have a template. And why is it that of one, eg for me Anne Tyler, we are slipping into her way, never questioning that, but for another we think it’s bad writing, the same thing ever time.

    There is the artist who (apparently) profoundly investigates the lily pad, or the way a pot breaks (thinking of a friend of mine) and the artist who goes to art school, is taught to find her style, it’ll be her brand, and I guess don’t we think of the latter as inferior to the former? Where’s the line between obsession and brand? Maybe that’s my question. And is the answer simply that you recognise each when you see it?

  3. Yes, he took British citizenship in his twenties, didn’t he. But I may give A Pale View of Hills a try as it’s quite short.

  4. I’m so glad to have your contagious enthusiasm embracing the JLC16! I have never read Spring Snow, much to my dismay, and it does call to me after you mentioned it in this post. And Ishiguro…

    I love all the special books you’ve received from your blogging friends. What a community of sharers and givers! xo

  5. Yes, I don’t consider Ishiguro wholly Japanese, but I will read A Pale View of Highs, and that’s the most Japanese of his titles.

    And yes, so much selection for January! LOL

  6. If I get to an author with Japanese links it’ll probably be Ishiguro and one of his early titles, but it could be his daughter Naomi and her collection of short stories – if that counts. But there’s so much else to read in January…

  7. Same, excited about reading the participants choices especially yours.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks for stopping by. Your friendship is a blessing.

  8. January has become Japanese book month for me. I’ve loved everyone I’ve read/reviewed. I hope you enjoy your reading and that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Hugs

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