Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is internationally acclaimed as one of the most important and influential post-World War II. In the s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe. A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe Kenzaburo Oe in A Personal Matter. “Bird, gazing down at the map of Africa that reposed in the showcase with the.

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Nothing simple for sure. This connection is mostly up to the reader as we garner little visions on the scope of life of a defeated nation in the painful process of recovery after the war. He fears being in the presence of his wife and mother-in-law both of whom seem to blame him for everything, and seeks solace in violent sex with an old lover. Like Bird’s inner world, the novel revolves around him, but does not operate in a vacuum.

This section kenzavuro words approx. Mar 22, Scott Forbes rated it it was ok Shelves: Japanese men are exponentially more handicapped in this department.

A Personal Matter

The whole book is a symphony on shame and its avoidance. The baby did not have a brain hernia, but just a benign tumor.

I followed up on Oe once I finished his x. Bird is fired at work the next day though technically he will finish out the current semester.

The characters will take to a journey and will make you feel a different world. And what does one sometimes do with personal tragedy, we write about it. What would you think? He was born in a small village on the island of Shikoku, Japan. I don’t remember ever being as disgusted with the main character in a book as Oee was with Bird.


Rather, we are moved by the truth in Bird’s realizations and actions. Bird himself finds his own nature distorted and poisonous, blaming himself personally for bringing a severely deformed child into a world where there would be no acceptance of him nor an acceptable place for him.

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe

I actually did appreciate Bird’s ugly, brutal, piercing honesty throughout. After refreshing up and readying himself for work, Bird goes to his teaching job at Cram school to teach English Literature. Bird, the matted, wanders the streets aimlessly and gets into fistfights while his wife is in labour. He returns for the baby.

A Personal Matter Summary & Study Guide

According to a couple of reports read, this was a memoir of sorts although it is categorized as fiction. This book was written in He had been day-dreaming of a trip to Africa; maybe even a new life in Africa. He’s laid open this abyss of humanity, right? Who among us has not felt, even once, that we were handed a uniquely bad card? The story is essentially an extreme study of morals within the main character, who is a tragic character who seems to have made unfortunate choices in marriage and employment, and has some awful things behind him pereonal life.

View a FREE sample. Only Bird is informed of this; his partner is currently not conscious, the baby swept from the room, as is usually the case directly after birth. And then I felt better: Peril-ridden and fragile, the imperfect human body, what a shameful thing it was! Perwonal thinks, I’ve wasted my life, I don’t really want to be a father, I’m not as attractive to women as I used kenzabuo be, blah blah blah I think one reason I love this book so much is because I really detested kenzqburo when I started reading it.


Reading A Personal Matter is nothing less than an agonizing experience. So he has a low-status job as a pesonal instructor. I thought, Is this kind of reaction normal, and accepted, for a Japanese man in the s??

The book begins with Bird purchasing a map of Africa while his wife is in labor. While his wife is still in the hospital and the baby is clinging to life by a thread, he seeks solace by sleeping with a woman friend from times past. I realized Bird was an untrustworthy narrator, because I only got his perspective and I really had to step outside the book and realize he was not presenting reality, only his warped perception of it. I’m not trying to say that I simply didn’t like them or that they were horrible characters; I mean that if I knew these people in real life, I would likely be in prison because every single one of them are deserving of some righteous act of God that is reserved for the lowest and most inhumane members of society.

After a period, they do not seem to care.