Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics



10 thoughts on “Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text

  1. Carola Carola says:

    Let me refer you to Christian s spot on review.This book was not that great But let me start off on a positive note I enjoyed the stories The book contains seven short stories in total, by Natsume S seki and Ry nosuke Akutagawa The selection of stories, content wise, is good The stories are quite dark, which I love, and I especially like Akutagawa, so reading these stories wasn t boring.Now for the negativeThe aim of this book is to read Japanese literature in the original language T Let me refer you to Christian s spot on review.This book was not that great But let me start off on a positive note I enjoyed the stories The book contains seven short stories in total, by Natsume S seki and Ry nosuke Akutagawa The selection of stories, content wise, is good The stories are quite dark, which I love, and I especially like Akutagawa, so reading these stories wasn t boring.Now for the negativeThe aim of this book is to read Japanese literature in the original language The book is set up to accommodate this each page contains the original Japanese story on the left page, an English translation on the right page, and vocabulary on the bottom half of both pages Sounds convenient, but it doesn t quite get it right There are no grammar explanations, and the English translations are not 100% literal translations either The same vocab is repeated every page when necessary, which is convenient but also makes you lazy On the plus side, there are free audio downloads available for each of the stories, if you like to listen to them while reading I haven t downloaded them, so I don t know if the quality is any good.The stories themselves are, honestly, too difficult for a book like this They are separated into three different levels the first stories are the easiest and of a pretty good level , and then they gradually becomedifficult They are classic stories, and many use words and kanji that are no longer in use The same goes for some of the grammar And the grammar and vocabulary was simply too difficult on the whole It doesn t help that there are no grammar explanations in sight and the translations don t always help with that either you will get the meaning of the sentence, but you still won t understand the actual grammar For me the stories were readable, but I d judge them as high N2 going up to N1 level.This book simply doesn t help anyone break into Japanese literature If you don t have any prior experience reading Japanese literature in Japanese, this is way too hard And if you are advanced enough to read stories of this level, there are better choices out there All of the stories in this book have already been published in English parts of Soseki s Ten Nights Dreaming, Akutagawa s Rashomon, In the Grove, The Nose. , so if you want to read something new and previously untranslated, this is not a great selection of stories.All in all, a nice book for reading practice at N2 level But before buying this book I d recommend Read Real Japanese Fiction Short Stories by Contemporary Writers, which is set up better,accessible level wise, and has a wider selection of stories and all of them previously untranslated If you are looking fordifficult reading material, you might want to check Aozora Bunko instead.The next book in this series has Yukio Mishima hollow laughter


  2. Stan Murai Stan Murai says:

    Occasionally, we find books of selected literary workswith parallel bilingual texts with the translation of the original text on the facing page But because ofvast differences in the idiom structure and the mode of expression in the Japanese language, the translations areoften not a useful guide to the meaning of words that make up the original text Giles Murray provides the reader with glosses for nearly every single word foundin the original, appearing both in kanji and kana characters This Occasionally, we find books of selected literary workswith parallel bilingual texts with the translation of the original text on the facing page But because ofvast differences in the idiom structure and the mode of expression in the Japanese language, the translations areoften not a useful guide to the meaning of words that make up the original text Giles Murray provides the reader with glosses for nearly every single word foundin the original, appearing both in kanji and kana characters This is an enormous aid to the language learner since lookingup individual words in a Japanese kanji dictionary can be a daunting task Amazingly nearly %50 of all common use kanji j y kanji are found in the selected texts of this book Free internet downloads of sound files are also available for the selections as well Moreover, any learner of Japanese will also have a real sense of accomplishment when finishing any of these selections since they represent well known works of literature by famous authors


  3. Christian Christian says:

    I wouldn t recommend it to anyone.First of all, all the stories share some gore horror atmosphere Not that it s bad, but for a book advertised simply as Seven Modern Classics , I don t understand why they chose to go for 7 dark short stories Second and most important point those stories are too difficult Don t get me wrong, I do want to read authentic material and I ve already read a handful of Japanese novels from Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto , but if you re at a stage where you w I wouldn t recommend it to anyone.First of all, all the stories share some gore horror atmosphere Not that it s bad, but for a book advertised simply as Seven Modern Classics , I don t understand why they chose to go for 7 dark short stories Second and most important point those stories are too difficult Don t get me wrong, I do want to read authentic material and I ve already read a handful of Japanese novels from Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto , but if you re at a stage where you want to read parallel texts, I don t see how you could benefit from reading this It s very humbling at best.Good points the stories were interesting despite being all so dark the layout works well you never have to flip pages back and forth the illustrations and introductory notes are a great addition and make the whole visually appealing.There is easier Japanese literature, so don t go ahead Crashing into Japanese literature


  4. Ian Josh Ian Josh says:

    I wanted to give this a higher review I mean, it s only my own fault that it s a bit out of my league.Then I thought a bitand took another look at the cover.This, upon reading it, is obviously for a very high level of Japanese How high High enough that using out of use Kanji instead of the modern Versions seemed wise.But that s how it was written, and so, we don t want to edit the original text, right Then why create a cover that suggests this is a study able book Why point out that I wanted to give this a higher review I mean, it s only my own fault that it s a bit out of my league.Then I thought a bitand took another look at the cover.This, upon reading it, is obviously for a very high level of Japanese How high High enough that using out of use Kanji instead of the modern Versions seemed wise.But that s how it was written, and so, we don t want to edit the original text, right Then why create a cover that suggests this is a study able book Why point out that 50% of all common use kanji are used, without adding and a whole lot that you ll never see.The audio being available was useful for some listening practice, but these texts would be a challenge for any native high school graduate, so, the target market was obviously so small that they decided to make it seem to be something it is not.To be honest, I ve had this book for probably a decade It s been opened by a man at various levels of Japanese ability and has yet to be appropriate, or helpful


  5. anna mae anna mae says:

    wowieeeeeethese are depressing but beautiful this book is very conveniently laid out and i wish a million others like it existed


  6. Alejandro Alejandro says:

    Me he animado a hacer mi propia rese a de este libro al ver que en los dem s an lisis no lo entienden por lo que es, sino por lo que quieren que sea.Estamos ante un manual de Giles Murray, traductor que nos introduce a la literatura japonesa a trav s de varios relatos analizados por su composici n y desglosados para mayor comprensi n Hasta ah , bien, se entiende la intenci n del autor a la izquierda, el texto original en japon s a la derecha, la traducci n en ingl s abajo, vocabulario y punt Me he animado a hacer mi propia rese a de este libro al ver que en los dem s an lisis no lo entienden por lo que es, sino por lo que quieren que sea.Estamos ante un manual de Giles Murray, traductor que nos introduce a la literatura japonesa a trav s de varios relatos analizados por su composici n y desglosados para mayor comprensi n Hasta ah , bien, se entiende la intenci n del autor a la izquierda, el texto original en japon s a la derecha, la traducci n en ingl s abajo, vocabulario y puntos gramaticales explicados a discreci n Este patr n es as en todo el libro y se divide en tres niveles, en base a su dificultad de menor a mayor Tambi n trae audios con las historias narradas para quien quiera o rlas pronunciadas y con cierta entonaci n dram tica por actores japoneses.Una de las pegas que se indica en las dem s rese as es que la literatura aqu recogida es obsoleta y con t rminos en desuso Esto viene de gente que esperaba leer literatura contempor nea Murakami, Yoshimoto, etc en vez de literatura moderna S seki, Akutagawa Sin desmerecer aqu la literatura contempor nea ni mucho menos, la propia portada indica ya que se trata de cl sicos modernos Tambi n se indica en la contraportada qu autores aparecen en el libro, con qu historias aparecen y c mo est estructurado todo, as que la sorpresa se entiende m s por desinformaci n que por enga o del libro Son historias escritas a principios del siglo XX la m s reciente es de 1922 y con un estilo definido que no suele ense arse en las aulas Son obras lo suficientemente antiguas como para ser de dominio p blico, por lo que Murray se centra aqu en desglosarlas en vez de presentarnos originales y ense ar la teor a tras estos.Otra de las pegas que se recogen en las rese as es que son historias bastante gr ficas, o que son una elecci n un tanto oscura para hacer un libro sobre literatura japonesa Esto es, simplemente, absurdo Varias de las historias que recoge el libro lidian con determinados sentimientos, desde la p rdida, la desaz n o el arrepentimiento, hasta la validaci n ajena o la incongruencia en uno mismo y los dem s La cr tica proviene principalmente de historias como La nariz o Rash mon, pero incluso en estas historias las partes m s expl citas son algo secundario Es, tambi n, una muestra de que otros esperan algo m s dado a la literatura contempor nea que a la moderna, donde abundan historias m s cotidianas.Por ltimo, la tercera pega principal que se extrae de estos an lisis es que el japon s que se emplea en estos textos es demasiado dif cil, o que los saltos entre niveles resultan exponenciales Acab ramos Este libro de introducci n a la literatura japonesa es, en principal medida, un libro de introducci n a la literatura japonesa en japon s No deber a ser sorprendente, pues, que se requiera un nivel relativamente alto como muy m nimo un N2 para seguir estos textos, y aun as nos tropezaremos en bastantes ocasiones dada la poca en la que redactaron estas historias, por cuestiones vocabulario correspondiente a lugares, sistema horario o incluso algo tan simple como colores En resumen, pues A favor Buena elecci n de cl sicos como punto de partida se agradece que sean historias cortas reales ntegras, no cap tulos aislados Gu a detallada de vocabulario, gram tica e incluso traducci n al ingl s para no perderse en ning n momento Libro compacto por s mismo, pero compaginable con extras como el diccionario de Kodansha o audios disponibles para descarga en la web del autor.En contra Hay erratas menores que podr an haberse solventado con otra pasada lecturas err neas, t rminos que no aparecen, etc El autor peca un poco de cuentista cuando dice que son traducciones puramente literales y que no hay florituras en el texto En mi edici n, mi copia del diccionario de Kodansha no concuerda con el sistema de numeraci n en el libro al tratarse posiblemente de ediciones diferentes Es una pega puramente personal


  7. Aqua Aqua says:

    I don t know how to feel about this book On the one hand the layout is the best I ve ever seen of any of the Japanese reader books for learners Everything you need is all there on one page original text, translated text, and all vocab even audio files are available if you want them On the other hand, who on earth is this book for I m N1 level, and I struggled with this book I did understand all the grammar and could thus get through the text, but I was constantly stumbling into vocab tha I don t know how to feel about this book On the one hand the layout is the best I ve ever seen of any of the Japanese reader books for learners Everything you need is all there on one page original text, translated text, and all vocab even audio files are available if you want them On the other hand, who on earth is this book for I m N1 level, and I struggled with this book I did understand all the grammar and could thus get through the text, but I was constantly stumbling into vocab that I did not know Yes, it s all there in the vocab list, but due to the classical nature of the chosen texts, much of the vocab is entirely useless to all but the nichest of niche learners It s like giving an advanced English learner 18th or 19th century English or worse, Shakespeare That s just something that requires fluency and then some, and only a small number of people are even interested So I suppose the answer to who this book is for is N1 level learners interested in classical Japanese literature, however many of those there are I appreciate that the author has a lot of love for this classical literature, it s just that considering how few dual text readers there are for Japanese and the utility of this book s layout as a learning tool, I wish it werethan just classical literature Because for the few learners out there who are interested in the classics, I imagine there are a whole lotinterested in reading easier andmodern texts.Admittedly, I ve personally never had much interest in reading classical Japanese literature in Japanese I enjoyed The Tale of Genji and Tanizaki s The Makioka Sisters in English, but I harbor no delusions that I will ever be capable of reading these in their original language I definitely prefer to readmodern Japanese texts Also, if these texts are representative of the style of Japanese classical literature, then I am evenput off I hope you like reading about depressed brooding, suicide, murder, rape, corpses, beating up old women, and a really gross description of what can only be described as medieval plastic surgery, because there are a lot of disturbing themes in here Only two authors, Natsume Soseki and Akutagawa Ryunosuke, are covered here, so it s possible it s just their style view spoiler I m also highly annoyed by the moral of the nose story Everyone bullies this monk for his crazy long nose, so he gets some weird, medieval plastic surgery done to shorten it, and then everyone around him shuns and bullies him evenI think that the author was attempting to go for the accept yourself as you are moral, but he definitely missed the mark The book never condemns the actions of the bullies who bullied him even before he changed his nose or analyzes how their shaming caused so much distress to the monk that he was pushed to pursue such painful surgical methods to change his appearance In fact the book even seems to imply that the monk deserves the increased bullying for daring to alter his appearance So is the moral just that plastic surgery is bad But the book also describes the long nose as getting in the way of daily functions of the monk s life like eating, so even putting aside the fact that no one should be bullying him no matter what his nose looks like, fixing a body part that impairs basic, necessary life functions seems like a perfectly reasonable reason to get plastic surgery to me hide spoiler Between the genre of the stories, which were not my cup of tea, and the difficult vocab I kept stumbling into, it took me over 2 years to get through this book I would get so bored and frustrated I would put it down for months at a time As an example, here is some of the archaic vocab you will come across in this book halyard rope for sail police chief with judicial powers crumpled hat worn by men some old counter for length some old counter for length lacquered quiver garment worn by commoners sutra reading desk temple page boyAnd so on, not to mention all the bodhisattva names and classical, outdated forms of words.Again, I would beapt to like this book if Murray had made this a series with multiple books ranging from easier middle grade, modern adult fiction, to classical literature But there are only two books in the series, both of which focus on the classics, and according to reviews the second book is even harder I cannot even fathom It s got such a great layout and could be a really useful series for encouraging reading ability in learners, far better than any other reader I ve seen no constant flipping to the back of the book for vocab If you have a grasp on grammar, you can read it without having a separate dictionary open I would love to see this series expand to easier andmodern texts, but it was published in 2003 so I don t have much hope Be wary unless you are high N1 level and have a particular interest in classical Japanese literature, because you may find this book rather challenging and a bit demoralizing I find trying to read texts that are way too challenging for me to be highly discouraging, so if you are not N1 level yet, I definitely suggest focusing on books that areat your level Texts where you are still being challenged and learning new vocab, but that don t cause you to whip out your dictionary every sentence Here are a few other Japanese reader recommendations that aremodern and easier to read New Penguin Parallel Text Short Stories in JapaneseRead Real Japanese Fiction Short Stories by Contemporary WritersRead Real Japanese Essays Contemporary Writings by Popular Authors


  8. Hawraki Hawraki says:

    I started learning Japanese at the begging of this year 2019.I m still a beginner but I wanted to experience reading the famous stories in the Japanese text This book provides the hiragana of each Kanji which makes it easy to read, I was glad when I succeeded in reading and understanding some sentences in Japanese, the book is clear, it gives the meaning of each and every Kanji I will re read the stories after a while to track my progress in learning the language.


  9. Rosa Rosa says:

    Invaluable material for N2 students


  10. Alia Alia says:

    This is a fabulous way to get one s feet wet reading non textbook Japanese This book contains 7 short stories, in order of increasing length and complexity, in a bilingual format Japanese on the left, English on the right It also has a dictionary for complex or archaic terms used on every page as well as for kanji every kanji is listed for the first time it appears on the page, along with reference numbers that correspond to the publisher s kanji dictionary All of these stories are well k This is a fabulous way to get one s feet wet reading non textbook Japanese This book contains 7 short stories, in order of increasing length and complexity, in a bilingual format Japanese on the left, English on the right It also has a dictionary for complex or archaic terms used on every page as well as for kanji every kanji is listed for the first time it appears on the page, along with reference numbers that correspond to the publisher s kanji dictionary All of these stories are well known in Japan by Natsume Soseki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa , and CD recordings of all the stories are also included This book was really well put together, and makes reading actual Japanese muchaccessible to anyone who s just starting out with reading literature Even for someoneused to reading in Japanese, it s a great introduction to Soseki and Akutagawa Topic wise the stories range from the dark like the selections from Soseki s Dreams to the outright laughable Akutagawa s The Nose , and also include famous stories like In the Grove and Rashomon, the bases for Akira Kurosawa s film, Rashomon All in all a wonderful read, and great reading practice in Japanese


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Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text Reading great books in the original should be the culmination of language study, but reading Japanese literature unassisted is a daunting task that can defeat even the most able of students Breaking into Japanese Literature is specially designed to help you bypass all the frustration and actually enjoy classics of Japanese literature Breaking into Japanese Literature features seven graded stories covering a variety of genres whether it s the spellbinding surrealism of Natsume Soseki s Ten Nights of Dreams, the humor of Akutagawa Ryunosuke s fable of temple life The Nose , or the excitement of his historic thrillers In a Grove and Rashomon , you are sure to find a story that appeals to you in this collectionThe unique layout with the original Japanese story in large print, an easy to follow English translation and a custom dictionary was created for maximum clarity and ease of use There s no need to spend time consulting reference books when everything you need to know is right there in front of your noseTo make Japanese literature fun, Breaking into Japanese Literature also has some unique extra features mini biographies to tell you about the authors lives and works, individual story prefaces to alert you to related works of literature or film, and original illustrations to fire your imagination Best of all, MP sound files of all the stories have been made available for FREE on the Internet Breaking into Japanese Literature provides all the backup you need to break through to a new and undiscovered world the world of great Japanese fiction All the hard work has been taken care of so you can enjoy the pleasures of the mind Why not take advantage Learn % of all common use kanji covered Kanji entry numbers given for follow up study Japanese English translation custom dictionary on the same page Every single kanji word explainedListen Free download of sound files from the NetLook Original atmospheric illustrationsLink Original stories for Kurosawa s Rashomon and DreamsAll the stories in this book are available on the Internet as MP sound files read by professional Japanese actorsFor students who want to consolidate their understanding of kanji, the entry numbers for any of the , characters in The Kodansha Kanji Learner s Dictionary have been provided when those characters feature in Breaking into Japanese Literature This makes cross referencing a matter of seconds [Download] ✤ 101 By Amrita Jhaveri – 9facts.co.uk but reading Japanese literature unassisted is a daunting task that can defeat even the most able of students Breaking into Japanese Literature is specially designed to help you bypass all the frustration and actually enjoy classics of Japanese literature Breaking into Japanese Literature features seven graded stories covering a variety of genres whether it s the spellbinding surrealism of Natsume Soseki s Ten Nights of Dreams [Download] ➵ Damn the School System--Full Speed Ahead! Author Vearl G McBride – 9facts.co.uk the humor of Akutagawa Ryunosuke s fable of temple life The Nose ❴Download❵ ➵ Impressionist Quartet Author Jeffrey Meyers – 9facts.co.uk or the excitement of his historic thrillers In a Grove and Rashomon ✭ [PDF] ✪ Does Anyone Like Mondays? By Eric D. 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About the Author: Giles Murray

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text book, this is one of the most wanted Giles Murray author readers around the world.