Friday, June 09, 2006

"A Souvenir of Japan": Help!

I try to make a rule to approach each literary text with the hope that I will enjoy and respect it. I am having a hard time with this story. I think part of the problem is not just that the narrator has a tortured vision of her relationship and her surroundings, but that the narrator does not seem sufficiently separated from the author so that I can see how the author hopes I should feel about the narrator's world view? (Should that even matter, you ask?)
I suppose what I am dealing with here is the distinction I have tried to make with my son about reading: is this a bad text, or a text about bad things?

What do you think about "A Souvenir of Japan?" Is it about a woman with an unhealthy vision of intimacy and a culture not her own, or is it a story with a bad attitude? (Or am I putting forth an either-or fallacy?)


Blogger Lisa Paulsen said...

I think "A Souvenir of Japan" is about a woman with an unhealthy vision of intamacy. I feel she needs to realize there's more to life than what the guy wants and there's more to life than just great intamacy. It seems that when they went someplace together it was to have sex and when there was a time they went for just the fireworks display, he was bored and she finally gave in and they left for his benefit. I would have made him sit there and be bored while I enjoyed the show and the next time there was something I would enjoy and know that he wouldn't, I'd go without him.

12:42 AM  

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