: Una cuestion personal (Spanish Edition) () by Kenzaburo Oe and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books . A Personal Matter is a novel by Japanese writer Kenzaburō Ōe. Written in , the novel is semi-autobiographical and dark in tone. It tells the story of Bird. Kenzaburō Ōe, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, A partir de este hecho, se suceden en Una cuestión personal un gran número de.

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A Personal Matter

Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Paperbackpages. Published January 13th by Grove Press first published Cuestoon see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Lists with This Book. Oct 21, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: Not a pretty story. The main character is a man who has just learned that his wife gave birth to a boy with a deformed head and brain damage. His primary feelings about the baby are shame and disgust. But eventually he decides to allow the operation and keep the baby. The father is kenzabro man who had a bout with alcohol years ago that forced him to drop out of college. So he has a low-status job as a cram-school instructor.

When the main cuestuon tells his father-in-law the news of the deformed kenzaburro the mother still does not know even though his father-in-law knows he is on the wagon, he gives his son-in-law a bottle of scotch, with the obvious result.

While ow 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. He had been day-dreaming of a trip to Africa; maybe even a new life in Africa. He passes that enthusiasm learned from books and maps on to his girlfriend. She wants him to abandon his wife and kenzabudo and take her to Africa with him.

There are also background passages based on news about the possibility of nuclear war. This book was written in The cuestkon won the Nobel Prize in He published a book, Late Style, in and in the author is Photo of Mount Fuji from exploreshizuoka.

View all 15 comments. Every one, especially every parent. Reading A Personal Matter is nothing less than an agonizing experience. It almost feels like somebody poking perrsonal and opening up our most secret, suppurating, psychological wounds and making them bleed all over again, thereby compelling us to wake up to the realization of their existence.

These scars and bruises make their presence known time and again by causing us pain of the highest order. And so we proceed to wrap them up in the protective wadding cuesgion false pretensions, carefully hiding them aw Reading A Personal Matter is nothing less than an agonizing experience. And so we proceed to wrap them up in the protective wadding of false pretensions, carefully hiding them away from the scrutiny of the rest of the world and more importantly, ourselves.

He also forces us to acknowledge its perpetuity, cuesttion it and achieve a state of harmony with it. With every turn of a page, we find ourselves plunging deeper into the bottomless pit of shame, self-loathing and sheer grief along with Bird, our protagonist. Bird nicknamea young man of twenty seven, keeps drifting in and out of consciousness throughout the length of the narrative.


While walking along a busy Tokyo street he is capable of sparing a thought for his pregnant wife experiencing labour pains at the hospital and alternately seeking escapism in the chestion of dreaming about landscapes of Africa, a continent he desperately wishes to visit some day. He neither seems to feel passionately about his wife nor about the job at the cram school he has landed thanks to the benevolence of his father-in-law. In a sense, he is apathetic to his own life but we are shown that he is not immune from feelings of embarrassment.

Weak-willed and jittery, he refuses to accept the birth of a child with a grotesque lump on kenzabjro head and crucial genetic deformities. He is appalled to hear his baby would never grow up as a normal child and shamelessly gives in to feelings of utter relief, when he hears from the doctor that chances of his baby’s survival are next to none.

Although immediately afterwards, he suffers from a keen ina. Over the course of the next few days, like the most cowardly criminal ever, he plots his own baby’s murder – by conspiring with the doctor to substitute his supply of milk with sweetened water and, when that fails, by taking the baby to the clinic of a shady abortionist. Yet at the same time he shudders in revulsion at the thought of having to kill a helpless, sick little child with his bare hands.

He fears being in the presence of his wife and mother-in-law both uba whom seem to blame him for everything, and seeks solace in violent sex with an personzl lover. Thus, Bird, seems to possess no redeeming characteristics whatsoever.

He is a failure at life and everything he does. He is selfish kenzzburo the point of entertaining ideas of running away with his lover to Africa, abandoning all his responsibilities.

He only views his biological child as a callously assembled, defective mass of flesh, blood and bone. 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.



Bird is despicable in the true sense of the term. But then at the same time, Bird is also the very personification of all our uuna human weaknesses. He disgusts the reader but he also evokes feelings of sympathy and solidarity.

Because if we maybe honest enough with ourselves, there’s a Bird in each one of us and his deformed baby is merely a symbol of the indignities of our own personal existence. Slowly as the days perspnal by after the birth of the unwanted child, Bird starts viewing the entity he repeatedly refers to as ‘the monster baby’as a human offspring blessed with the powers of sensation and expression.

It seems this indisputable fact had eluded him so far. Thus begins Bird’s gradual transformation, which the reader witnesses with mixed feelings. As he comes full circle, traversing the seemingly infinite distance between madness and sanity, so does the reader.

And when he finally finds hope in a hopeless place and sets into motion the long, convoluted process of acceptance, it is not the predictability of this ending which strikes us. Rather, we are moved by the or in Bird’s realizations and actions. His writing isn’t wordy or verbose yet it hits the unx most menzaburo spot every time and makes one feel raw and cut up deep inside. The baby continued to live, and it was oppressing Bird, even beginning to attack him. Swaddled in skin as red as shrimp which gleamed with the luster of scar tissue, the baby was beginning ferociously to kenzaburk, dragging its anchor of a heavy lump.


In slow succession, the reader becomes- Bird, the indifferent cram school teacher. Bird, the miserable failure of a man.

Una Cuestion Personal (English, Spanish, Paperback)

Bird, the conspiring murderer. Bird, the unfaithful husband. And at the very end, Bird, the accepting father. Thus, A Personal Matterceases lenzaburo be just about a personal matter somewhere. Instead, it becomes one of the most life-affirming stories ever, meant to serve as a panacea for unw ones suffering from the affliction of an undignified existence.

So he gifts us with the strength to endure it instead. View all 42 comments. Feb 14, Personl rated it really liked it Shelves: Not in the Travel Brochures Nothing about Japan, neither its culture nor its institutions, not to say its people, is portrayed with any sympathy in A Personal Matter.

The tragedy of a grotesquely deformed child, while disconcerting and disruptive to everyone concerned – family, hospital staff, employer – is no more than that. Sex is either rape or routine self-indulgence.

A Personal Matter – Wikipedia

Eating is of the coarsest fast food. Sleep is a time of nightmares. Social relations are either violent or exploitative. All the characters are vaguely inhuman as well as inhumane.

Bird, the protagonist, wanders the streets aimlessly and gets into fistfights while his wife is in labour. His ex-girlfriend, Himiko, when not having sex with strangers, meditates all day on a ramifying quantum universe, and drives her MG sports car around all night, equally aimlessly.

The mother-in-law refuses even to make eye contact with Bird. The depth of thought, or lack of it, provoked by the situation is startling: So obviously this is not about A Personal Matter at all. The irony clearly is meant to enmesh all of Japanese life in this single incident.

Can the redemptive decision of an individual make any difference? Beyond that it seems to me impossible for a non-Japanese to comment. Not a book, therefore, likely to be suggested reading by the Japanese Tourist Agency. View all 12 comments. People love this damn book but I wanted to climb inside the pages and tip our hero ;ersonal a cement mixer so he could become part of the foundations of the new Tokyo and therefore perform the only useful act in his miserable life. I mean, fucking hell, get a grip.

Aug 26, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: Imagine your child was born with his brain outside of his head. How would you feel? What would you think?