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『Blue moon』川上弘美

“Blue Moon” By Hiromi Kawakami This is an essay like fiction. Kawakami’s prose has unique charm in itself. It renders readers’ minds peaceful and calm. This story is no exception. The protagonist one day faces a diagnosis of a possible cancer. Still, her life goes on, with her attitude towards life hardly changed. She goes to Russia as planned to participate in a haiku event. There, Russian participants present their haiku. A man in his 60s, whose brother recently died, shares his on the brother. The protagonist tweaks it and turns it into the one in the form of haiku: 5-7-5 syllables. Despite its slight rearrangements of words, it has significant effects on him. He is moved and says “I didn’t know anything about Japanese people. But today, meeting you, I knew Japanese people for the first time. I’m happy.” What happens here is exactly “ostranenie”, which Russian formalists defined as the purpose of art. The protagonist defamiliarizes the poem, through which it assumes new dimensions and meanings. This exchange makes the protagonist reflect on life as well: “Words, life... so very fragile, so small and insignificant.” What does it mean to live, to die, or to write? This story makes us think. With its serene and comforting prose. With this session, 2022 now comes to a close. Thank you everyone for the great participation! Let’s continue to defamiliarize in 2023!


『Blue moon』川上弘美









死とは、生きるとは、人間とは何なのか、を静謐な文章で紡いでいく。川上弘美の専攻が生物学ということもあってか、生に対する客観的考察は時として乾いたものとなる。感情とは一定の距離を置いている観察の中であるからこそ、人間同士のやりとりにおける感情の溶解が際立つ。川上弘美の文章は不思議な力を持っていて、自然と心が落ち着く。 『蛇を踏む』も素晴らしいと思いましたが、やはり川上弘美の文章が好きだと改めて思いました。

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