Wednesday, November 09, 2005
A personal matter
Kenzaburo oe's 'A personal matter' is a novel that has risen out of his personal experience.It is the story of a father coming to terms with his new baby, who is born with a brain herrania/tumor.But it is not an account of what happened in his life.He has just taken that traumatic experience and made a novel out of it.But you would be disappointed if you are looking for a father who wants everybody to pity and cry for him.The novel is neither depressive nor romantic.He actually makes fun of the baby with head bandage as looking like Apollinaire.
The novel is written in a style known as Grotesque Realism.As said before you wont see the usual narration style,for example oe does not describe anybody as beautiful or perfect.His child's imperfection comes out in every character that is in the book.He uses a bitter, dark, pessimistic language to describe the characters and situation.
The language style is not something that one will start liking right from the start and at lot of places the book simply becomes a perversive pornographic one, which also lot of readers might not like.But the writing style is so different that it starts to grow in you.The mind of weak guy with so much hate and anger is narrated in a very different way.
The climax of the book seemed like one written just to end it as the hero does an complete U turn to end the novel positively.
Kenzaburo oe, who writes so many hateful things about the baby in the book is not the same man in real life, he is a good father to his son who was born with the brain tumor.His son grew up to become a classical music composer.
Kenzaburo at berkley
Oe's Nobel page