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am 19. Mai 2001
N.P. - North Point - heißt das unvollendete Manuskript des japanischen Schriftstellers Sarao Takaske, der sich mit 48 Jahren das Leben nahm. Die junge Ich-Erzählerin Kazami soll jetzt die letzte Erzählung übersetzen, nachdem ihr Freund Shoji sich beim Lesen dieser ebenfalls umbrachte. Eine mysteriöse Aura umgibt diese Erzählung und so bleibt Kazami nicht lange mit ihr alleine. Auch Takases hinterlassene Kinder, die Zwillinge Otohiko und Saki, Bruder und Schwester, interessieren sich für das Manuskript. Bald wird klar, dass die letzte Erzählung Geheimnisse der Familie birgt und die undurchsichtigen Zwillinge und deren Faszination Kazami nicht mehr losgelassen. Banana Yoshimoto erschafft eine eigene, mysteriöse Welt und eine noch stärkere verstrickte Seelenwelt junger Menschen. Das Unbewußte und die Gedanken stehen im Vordergrund und führen zu den Verstrickungen und Missverständnissen der Handlung. Außerdem thematisiert die Autorin lesbische Liebe, inzestuöse Beziehungen, Telepathie und Sympathie, Okkultismus und Religiösität. Kein Wunder, dass der Roman als einer der größten über das Erwachsenwerden gehandelt wird und sich in Japan in ungewöhnlich hohen Auflagen verkaufte. Teilweise sind die erzählte Story und die Personen vielleicht gewöhnungsbedürftig, aber Spannung und Mysteriösität sowie interessante Charaktäre fehlen der Handlung nicht. Auf jeden Fall ein etwas anderes und lesenswertes Buch, dass nicht nur viel über junge Menschen allgemein offenbart, sondern auch über die Kultur Japans. Obwohl die Geschichte überall auf der Welt hätte spielen können und die Wünsche und Gedanken der Protagonisten für die der jungen Menschen auf der ganzen Welt stehen.
0Kommentar| 11 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 3. Februar 2002
So endet das Buch, dass ich nur ungern aus der Hand legte. Ein weiteres Meisterwerk japanischer Literatur, das die gesamte Mystik und teilweise auch Verklemmtheit der dortigen Lebensart aufzeigt.
Von mir aus hätte die ganze Geschichte noch weitere fünfhundert Seiten dauern können.
Vielleicht habe ich mich selber wieder in dieser wunderschönen Gefühlsvielfalt wiedergefunden, welche das Ende der Pubertät und das langsame Erwachsenwerden mit sich bringt.
Ein Buch, nicht zum Begreifen - aber zum Verstehen und zu Geniessen. Verstehen der japanischen Mentalität und der Lebensanschauung der Jugend; Geniessen des eigenen Gefühlschaos, welches beim Lesen in einem selber aufblüht.
0Kommentar| 15 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 4. November 2010
Banana schaffet es immer wieder diese melancholische Atmosphere zu schaffen in der man sich einfach wohl fühlt, es ist schwer zu beschreiben, irgendwie wirken ihre Bücher tröstlich auch wenn man garnicht traurig ist. Man fühlt mit auch wenn Gefühle eigentlich nie beim Namen gennant werden. Es ist als ob man einem Freund zuhört wenn man ihre Geschichten liest, man ist einfach aufmerkasmer, einfühlsamer. Einfech eine klasse Schriftstellerin.
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 24. März 1998
Banana Yoshimoto's N.P., the Japanese writer's second novel, is an intriguing tale of suicide, incest, and love set in a hot, sticky Asian summer.
At the center of Yoshimoto's book is the dead writer Sarao Takese, the author of a collection of short stories also called N.P. Takese has fathered two children by his first wife before his own death by suicide: Otihoko and his sister, Saki, both of whom we meet briefly early in the novel through the narrator and protagonist, Kazami. Kazami is drawn to the brother and sister instantly when she first sees them at a party. "I was overwhelmed by the sensation that I had actually met them before in my dreams, but then, in the next moment, I came back to my senses, aware that anyone who saw these two would feel the same way," she says. "I couldn't take my eyes off of them."
After running into Okihoto by chance some five years later, Kazami is quickly drawn into the tragic life of him and his sister, and she begins to reveal more of her own tragic story. Divorce and suicide are common elements to both Kazami and the Takeses. Kazami was raised by her mother after her father abandoned the family, and her lover Shoji has killed himself; similarly, Okihoto and Saki were raised by their mother after her divorce, and the Takese family has had to come to terms with Sarao's suicide.
Things get even more complicated when the enigmatic character Sui enters. Sui, it turns out, is both Okihoto's lover and half sister; not only that, she has also been the lover‹inadvertently‹of their common father, Sarao Takese, and of Kazami's now-dead lover.
Unlike many American novels, however, this is a story about love and the mysteries of attraction, not sex. The characters are drawn to each other not by hormones but by the qualities in each other that they lack in themselves; quiet, meditative Kazami is attracted to Sui's exuberance like a moth to light.
The idea that Sui brings to the novel is that in the world these characters inhabit, a world marked and marred by divorce, suicide, and confusion over national and familial identity, anything can happen, and almost anything does. The traditional relationships of father-daughter, brother-sister, are weakened and confused; the characters are through the looking glass, living in a world of unlikely coincidences, eerie psychic bonds, and frequent sensations of déjà-vu.
However, the novel's resolution is remarkably conservative. Sui, revealed to be a dangerous and destructive force, exiles herself from the story, and Kazami and Otihoko, the only characters who aren't related by blood, end up sitting together on the beach, quietly falling in love.
As a novelist, Yoshimoto has problems that are common to young writers; neither characterization nor dialogue are her strong suits. But it doesn't matter. She is concerned with larger issues‹questions of identity, language, and writing. In giving her novel the same title as Sarao Takese's collection of stories, making Takese's last "story" the true story of him and his love affair with Sui, and giving character's lines such as, "I was a character in a book, and now I've come out of the book and am talking and walking," Yoshimoto shows that she is well-versed in the postmodern techniques and quirks of metafiction: fiction that is painfully aware of its own lowly status as a fiction.
What is truly compelling about Yoshimoto's writing, however, is not her take on divorce or her clever technique, but her way with an image. On almost every page is some simile, metaphor, or turn of phrase that begs you to stop and think for a moment before moving on. She describes summer, for example, as "the time of year when the air is intense and hot, and the blue summer sky promises to suck you up."
I suspect that Yoshimoto's true gift as a writer is poetry, and I'd be interested in seeing what she could do in that medium. For now, though, I'll content myself with recommending N.P. for an enjoyable and thought-provoking afternoon's escape from the hot summer days that are about to come.
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am 21. Juli 2000
With its focus on forbidden (in this case incestuous) love, love suicide, and evanecence, and the high valuation of literature, Banana Yoshimoto's N.P. is recognizably Japanese. Perhaps in the flatness of dialog and the lack of character development, too? N.P., the collection of stories written in English by Sarao Takase, the dead-by-his-own-hand Japanese author, is no sense recovered by those preoccupied with them, including his daughter, Saki, his son (Otohiko, an especially wispy figure in the novel who lives with his sister), his son's companion (Sui, a half-sister who was in a sexual relationship with their father), and the narrator who, as a high-school girl was in a sexual relationship with a man who was translating the book, and has the story not included in the English publication... The reader learns nothing of the first 97 stories either.
There are some vivid turns of phrase, particularly about loving summertime (does this constitute variance from venerating spring?). The dangerous woman leaves, and at the end the son seems to be falling in love with the only living character to whom he is not related by blood (pretty conventional, no?). What's the fuss about? Something lost in translation seems unlikely.
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am 24. Mai 1999
This is my second book of B. Yoshimoto. I still prefer Lizard more and I would recommend you reading it, before Kitchen (I guess this is more interesting than the two I've read). NP, North Point which is actually the name of the place I'm living in, in Hong Kong which seems a bit of a coincidence. I really would want to know the lyrics of the song, if anyone have it, could you please kindly send it to me! NP is interesting and I love the images created in it, that summer heat and the recurring of the image and colour of BLUE, as felt by other readers, she should try writing poems. The relationship between the characters is quite complicated however this complication does not bring me to disgust at the morality of their parents, thanks to the writing of Yoshimoto. On the other hand, NP could not create an attraction to me and make me to read on but I still managed to finish it within 2 days. In fact, I'd rather read the actual story NP, ninety eighth and ninety nineth story than this novel. Anyway, this story is worth reading and can help to get an insight of the new generation of Japanese and perhaps wipe away some of the sterotypes in your minds.
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am 2. Februar 2000
I have read other books by Banana - Kitchen and Lizard. She always makes me feel as if I'm being followed, though I'm not sure by whom. Her remarkable stories of transvestities, lost love and in the case of NP, incest, awaken a surpressed sense of guilt inside of me. Though my morals, scruples, or just plain common sense tells me it is wrong, I can't help but feel oddly touched by the posioness, romantic love of Otohiko and his sister, Sui. Yoshimoto's stories defy logic, they are about a more spiritual and accepting way of life, they force me to try to strive for such honesty in my own life. My only criticizm lies in the fact that it is a translation of Japanese into English. It pains me that I cannot read and understand this book as it was actually written. At times the words seem overly simplistic, I'm sure it has lost some of the poetry of Banana's style in the translation. Perhaps this is just the kind of inspiration I need to go out and learn Japanese.
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am 8. April 1998
Throughout the story, characters talk about the powerful and touching nature of the 98th story so much that the reader can't help but feel jealous -- if that story is so transforming, why am I reading this melodramatic piece of drivel? Dialog is flat, narration is trite (more than once the narrator describes another character as "someone I could really talk to"), and the characters are melodramatic and self-absorbed. Plus, the author feels the need to provide a note at the end of the book explaining the character of Sui -- Doesn't Yoshimoto know by now that a good author shouldn't have to explain her characters? Their actions and dialogues should explain themselves! I picked up this book because of all the positive reviews that Yoshimoto and her earlier book received. But this is the first and last Yoshimoto book that I will read.
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am 18. Dezember 1999
N.P. was the first novel I've read by Yoshimoto. I was not so captivated by it because it seemed too dry. The characters, except for perhaps Sui, are all very dense, including the narrator, Kazami. The plot is a bit scattered, and the speech is a bit difficult to follow. However, it is interesting and worth while to the open minded. Her metaphors are enchanting and the symbolism of the environment and events are easy to catch. I think Banana would make a great poet, as I've heard others say before. But she is young and future novels by her should tend to only get better. I'm still willing to read her _Kitchen_, which I heard was 10x better than _N.P._ I think Yoshimoto summed it up best herself, to read this book: "On a sunny November afternoon, with a cold, eating a persimmon." To spend much more time on it would be wasteful.
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am 24. Januar 1999
I've only read two Japanese authors: Yoshimoto & this guy who the Japanese really revere but who's name I can't remember. His book I remember mostly because it was totally depressing, and I understand he killed himself while still fairly young. After reading *his* famous book, I wasn't surprised to find that out.
Yoshimoto's books are paradoxically quite the opposite - lots of death but when I finished reading them I felt completely excellent and refreshed and positive. I'd say her stories talk at leastt in part about finding ways out of really bad situations - finding hope or life or...
I have no idea if Yoshimoto will ever win the Nobel Prize. If it takes a real understanding of the soul to write something worthy of a Nobel, then IMHO she's made a good start.
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