“A formidable scholar and intellectual whose novels express the moral soul- searching of postwar Japan.” — The Boston Globe “A major feat of the imagination. But as always with Oe, the story is only the beginning. The Silent Cry, by Kenzaburo Oe pages. Serpent’s Tail, Fiction. Oe had strong links. Kenzaburo Oe was born in in the remote mountain village of Ose on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Oe is considered one of the most.

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Takashi revels in his warrior’s death, while Mitsusaburo recalls him as volunteering to be killed in retaliation for the death of a Korean in an earlier raid. Despite the worst humiliations and failures, we can generate the strength to begin again. Ow an explicit and technical-sounding style is sometimes frustrating, but it’s also compelling in its idiosyncrasy. Mar 13, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: Trauma, shame, guilt, guilt, guilt.

Takashi claims that he tried to rape her and then murdered her. A disabled child wasn’t just a fiction for this book; the author was thw to a similar case. Their sister, also mentally retarded, had committed suicide while living with Takashi. Oe had strong links with the French existentialist philosophers, studying French literature and marching with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in Paris in So it must be soccer. The suicide and the retarded baby surface again and again in Mitsu’s thoughts throughout the novel.

Sep 05, J. What follows is borne out by the long-lasting effects of war and family history.

The Silent Cry – Wikipedia

Takashi uses his group to begin an uprising against the Emperor, looting the supermarket and distributing the goods among the people. Just as Mitsu must re-evaluate his entire way of thinking about his brother, so too must we, as Mitsu’s complicit followers, re-evaluate what we have read thus far, and how we feel about the characters. Moreover, writing a comment on this complex novel by a formidable Japanese author is demanding and could be controversial, therefore, I would like to share my views with my Goodreads friends on some good points so that we can understand more on why we should read him enjoyably, that is, any one of his works to which we incline.


Both Stavrogin and Takashi want to push their luckthey want to dismiss conventional morality and see just what they are capable of.

It is his aim to, in effect, recreate this uprising in the village. Just send us an email and we’ll put the best up on the site. Two brothers, Takashi kenzxburo Mitsu, return from Tokyo to the village of their childhood. The Serpent’s Tail Classic series includes several books which may have, for whatever silrnt, not been as widely read kenzzaburo they deserve. Takashi has agreed to sell the family’s kura-yashiki — a traditional residence-storehouse — to ‘the Emperor’, a Korean originally brought to the village as a slave-worker but who has now gained a position of economic dominance, turning the village’s other kura-yashiki into a supermarket which has put the smaller shops out of business.

books, yo.

Also on the negative side of the equation, there is plenty here that is kind of wifty-cosmic ala Vonnegut, or deliberately obtuse, grotesque in a way we’d now recognize as the tactic of director David Lynch.

Told through oenzaburo to a Japanese uprising years prior, the characters struggle to find meaning and make their way forward in a small village. Takashi is the more charismatic of the two and he persuades Mitsu and his wife to accompany him back to their childhood village in the depths of a Japanese winter.

Something is going on: They are brilliant; and outstandingly odd and sexually charged and ultimately unnerving. The pages turn easily. So, on one end one has things like the tea ceremony, origami etc, which are examples of, and expressions of, the side of Japanese culture that is delicate, aesthetic, reserved, beautiful.

Alas, the one drawback was that I found the plot, based on a present day uprising aimed at reenacting another which happened a hundred years before, not very interesting in and of itself. Relevant themes abound — racism toward Koreansa popular uprising, the shunning of intellectuals, the populist leader who leads by his gut, the thrill of revolution.


There is a significant subplot, mostly revealed through reminiscences, about the history of the village and the boys family during the past one hundred years or so, it’s murky and unclear to grasp hold of this side of proceedings at first, and only becomes more apparent by the end, however for me at least, I still felt slightly unsure of the satisfactory answers. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In this way, not only do we blindly agree with his interpretation of the past, but we also spurn his brother — both in action and in philosophy — and consider him petulant, impulsive and ineffectual.

And it has become less absurd, less confusing to me on each occasion. This mention of a brain damaged, deformed, child will be familiar to seasoned Oe readers. This site uses cookies.

Even his marriage is unsatisfactory as symbolized by the birth of his son, who was born almost a vegetable. Think Japanese Dostoyevsky- familial ‘curses’, unspoken shame and pain and it’s eventual tear in the fibres of being. The Silent Cry is about a depressed intellectual who returns to his ancestral village with his younger brother who plans to incite the young men to overthrow a local Korean businessman, “The Emperor of the Sup I finished The Silent Cry right before the window of July shut for eternity.

It includes all these plot points and characters that aren’t interesting until you get to the end and you finally understand what the book is about and the main character takes on dimension. Read archived reviews of Japanese classics at jtimes.