Milkman by Anna Burns – continued

To complete my previous post .  (as I don’t like editing past posts)

Just finished reading the book, but could not find more to write about it .

The book, just ended. More happenings, deaths, but no conclusion. No hope for improvement. Life goes on in the same way.

What I remember vividly from the last part of the book is the mother’s attempts to look attractive and capture the heart of the real milkman as well as discussions about “wrong marriages”.  I feel it is intentional that the writer chose to write more about the being human. At 50, having lost husband and children, the mother is keen on rekindling a lost love. Simple, human, and has nothing to do with the conflict.

I hope all conflicts in the world will be forgotten and stopped  for Love and friendship.

 

Milkman by Anna Burns

Reading the book “Milkman” by Anna Burns .

Takes me a while to read it, but want to share my first thought and impression of reading it.

I am obviously aware of the struggles and conflicts in Norther Ireland, but I guess I never really understood what it meant on a daily basis. Thinking about it, I guess this what the entire world knows and feels about Israel.

And as such, it makes it even a more interesting read. Not only the story of a young woman being harassed by the “Milkman”, but an important story of the conflicts, deaths, the 10 minutes zone and much more.

Did not finish yet, but I think I can already recommend it.

 

地球星人 - Update

As previously wrote, read 地球星人 by Sayaka Murata and finished reading.

A bit difficult for me to write a review, as had several phases while reading:

First, felt “yet another book by Murata-san” challenging the accepted society rules. Why does one need to play by society rules, get married, have children, work, transfer the genes to another generation that will do the same.

Then, it became a story of a girl that is abused, while society does not protect her but rather judge.

Last part went crazy, but was it really crazy, or just the writer’s way to shake, to create a feeling of disgust while I was thinking the 3 people are actually trying to establish a new culture, which is not that different from ours.

The heroin struggles with sexual desire, discussing reproduction.

Do not want to disclose the story and ending, but I was a bit disappointed after reading コンビニ人間.

 

地球星人 By Sayaka Murata

Started reading Sayaka Murata’s  (村田沙耶香)latest novel 地球星人 . Literal translation of the name is 地球 = Earth  星人=Person from the planet.  Interesting combination.

The book was published last week, so only available in Hardcover. Not sure why it is not available in Kindle as previous one.

Looking forward to it, as I enjoyed her last books and the way she looks at our lives, social standards.

“First Love” by Shimamoto Rio

A winner of the Naoki prize this year, First love received mixed reviews on Amazon.

Maybe I expected more from a Naoki prize winner, but this book read more like a movie script than a book.

Not enough depth, not enough story.  The turn of events and investigation of the murder proceed in a strange pace with too many holes left in between to be “discovered” later.

“court scene” is way too short and uneventful to have significance.

One of her books was already adapted to a movie and I have a feeling this one will follow as well.

A popular writer, yet I still expect more from a prize winner.  I guess this was the first and last book I read from this writer.

 

Kinkakuji

The book, not the place.

Started reading it in Japanese, which proves a harder task than I expected. Will not give up and continue to read, but the pace and flow are discouraging.

It is difficult to read, the temple/buddhism related terms, grammar and what Mishima Yukio is trying to convey makes it a challenge.

Now should I insist finishing this before moving to another book, or try to read two in parallel.

 

 

Portrayal of Japanese in Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko”, Part 2

As I previously wrote  , I have a problem with the way the book portrays Japanese.
Again, I am certain Koreans were discriminated, and maybe even up to this day, but still the book reads like political propaganda.

What bothers me even more is in-accuracies:

  1. Noa managed to run away, get married and have 4 children with a fake name.   This is impossible in Japan (or any other country).  Japanese registration goes by Koseki (戸籍) , a family registration. One cannot break or fake one.
  2. Foreign registration.   I also had to go through foreign registration until I could get permanent residence.
    Normal and non-discriminating.  Koreans had the choice of becoming Japanese, but the characters in the book chose not to do that. Either one is Korean (with Korean passport) or Japanese.   No way in between and again, not discriminating.

Will finish reading this book, but can’t recommend it.

Portrayal of Japanese in Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko”

Maybe too early to write this, as I am only halfway through the book.

But until now I could not find even one positive Japanese character. All characters are either bad, neutral or greedy, exploiting the Korean workers.

In Japan times Article , it is mentioned:

Lee never casts Japanese as villains. There is no resentment, only fraught, complex interaction. Lee thinks it unfair to blame modern Japan for the past — but what might the future hold for Koreans and Japanese?

Which I find to be wrong.

I almost regret buying and reading this book, but feel obliged to read to the end.

I do not say that Korean did not suffer from Japanese occupation, discrimination and exploitation, but it feels almost a political book that cannot find “good” or “kind ” Japanese.

Can I get my money back ?

Hedda Gabler – ヘッダ ガブラー

Saw yesterday the play Hedda Gabler at Bunkamura Cocoon theater.

It has been a while since I went to see a play, especially in Japanese.

Obviously missed a few words here and there, but luckily (?!) actors speak clearly, so it was not that difficult for me to understand.

Terajima Shinobu was great, but also enjoyed the stage design, the See-Through Mirror which is used twice in the play. First Scene and last Suicide Scene. The colors and light coming from the windows.

It is good to remember how a good play is much better than a movie.

Less important to mention, I was the only foreigner in the theater, many people watched me, none approached.

 

 

Skin in the Game – last

Previous posts:

Skin in the Game Part 2

Skin in the Game

 

Last post and a summary (?)

It was an interesting book, but I did not enjoy the way it was written. I am guessing I will be holding my breath for the next book by Nassim Taleb.

Collected some notes and quotes:

people need to be equal, at least for the purpose of the conversation, otherwise it fails. It has to be hierarchy-free and equal in contribution.

I fully support this, and also relates to my experience in Japan. While in Israel the hierarchy is there but less strong, it is maybe too strong in Japan. Going to drink or eat with a customer and the conversation feels superficial. That unless there is a strong and long relationship between the members.  I am lucky enough to be a foreigner and able to break these walls of hierarchy.

People who are bred, selected, and compensated to find complicated solutions do not have an incentive to implement simplified ones.

Maybe not directly related, but I am almost allergic to the use of the word “elite” in Japan, the branding of people according to their education. It means nothing to me and it does feel sometimes like “smart” people are acting the act and trying to talk or act in a complex way.

Traders, when they make profits, have short communications; when they lose they drown you in details, theories, and charts.

Same goes for Sales. If all goes well, nobody cares. If not, the excuses, finger pointing and theories prevail:  “Political instability”, “Competition is doing this or that” and more