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The Bridegroom Was a Dog (New Directions…
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The Bridegroom Was a Dog (New Directions Pearls) (edição 2012)

por Yōko Tawada (Autor), Margaret Mitsutani (Tradutor)

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463555,202 (3.5)6
The Bridegroom Was a Dog is perhaps the Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada's most famous story. Its initial publication in 1998 garnered admiration fromThe New Yorker, who praised it as, "fast-moving, mysteriously compelling tale that has the dream quality of Kafka." The Bridegroom Was a Dog begins with a schoolteacher telling a fable to her students. In the fable, a princess promises her hand in marriage to a dog that has licked her bottom clean. The story takes an even stranger twist when that very dog appears to the schoolteacher in real life as a dog-like man. They develop a very sexual, romantic courtship with many allegorical overtones -- much to the chagrin of her friends.… (mais)
Membro:Shadekeep
Título:The Bridegroom Was a Dog (New Directions Pearls)
Autores:Yōko Tawada (Autor)
Outros autores:Margaret Mitsutani (Tradutor)
Informação:New Directions (2012), Edition: First Edition, 64 pages
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The Bridegroom was a Dog [novella] por Yōko Tawada

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NB: this is a review of the New Directions Pearl edition, which contains only the title tale.

I'm not really sure what to make of this; it's been some time since I felt that I didn't have the background or knowledge I needed to get a work of literature at all. What's up with the long, irritating run on sentences? What's up with the puerile (puellile?) butt jokes? Do we really need the long introduction about community gossip before we get to the traditional fairy tale woman-nearly-marries-dog stuff? Is it even a traditional fairy tale? Why does nobody get messages in this book?

Then I realized that I could actually give pretty good explanations for all of this, and I felt very good about myself. The long, irritating run-on sentences sound like children speaking (at least in English), when they're breathless with the effort of trying to tell you everything at once--and this is, in part, a story about school children and how adults can connect with them. Ditto for the puellile butt jokes; that's how children learn about the things we respectable adult types would really rather not talk about (butts, shit, snot, cocks, pussy, etc...) The long introduction lets our author give us the outside view of the protagonist that we expect from a fairy tale (in which there is often no subjectivity), while still using some of the modernist techniques that make literature interesting to us (i.e., psychology). Is this a traditional Japanese fairy tale? I don't know, but it's pretty close to Chinese Fox stories, so that's good enough.

But that just opened up a whole raft of new problems for me. Like what in hell is going on? Why do the things that happen happen? What did Yoko want to do when she wrote this? I'm primed to imagine it's a fairly standard, liberal attack on hetero-normativity, but does that work the same way in Japan? I have no idea. I'll likely keep thinking about it, but I have little desire to re-read the thing, and that might have a lot to do with the style, even though there's no saying whether that because of the translator, because maybe it's the author's intention to write the way it's been translated here, and there's really no way to know unless I email Mitsutani to ask here, but how could I do that without being either stupid or offensive, I don't really know and anyway what's that shiny thing over there??? ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
A fever dream, a fable come to life, a hallucination? I guess this novella is what you think it is. Tawada's writing and use of language creates an almost visual experience. Light & darkness, day & night, modernity & tradition all blend together then separate leaving the reader to ponder what is real? If I sound vague, it is because the story is full of real imaginings and imagined realities. Wow! I love it when I know that I will interpret & re-interpret a tale for quite a while to come! ( )
  hemlokgang | Oct 29, 2019 |
This was quite an interesting little book. It contains three short stories (or may be brief novellas?) which had me quite confused at the outset. All of the stories were strange with the narration going off on many tangents. The first story I found disquieting, but the second story I found fun. By the last story, I was already used to the writer's talented method of storytelling so that the disjuncture of the stories no longer bothered me. In fact, I thought the last story was very beautiful.

Briefly, the first story (The Bridegroom was a Dog) was about a cram school teacher, the second story (Missing Heels) was about a mail-order bride, and the last story (The Gotthard Railway) was about a train ride in a tunnel. In the middle of reading this book, I asked myself. "What?! What did I just read?" By the end of this book, however, I felt ready to try more work by this author. The writing is confusing, funny, beautiful, and perceptive all at the same time. How can this be? You'll have to read this book to find out. The writing is unlike any other book I've read so I have nothing with which to compare it. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Aug 12, 2019 |
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Tawada, Yōkoautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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There was a bed in the room next to the black door, so I went in and opened the closet to find seventeen nightgowns, neatly arranged in order of size, with the largest on the left. The smallest fitted me perfectly, but whether my husband expected me to grow into the next one, or had no idea what size I took, or had divorced sixteen other women, all bigger than me, I couldn’t imagine.”  (Missing Heels)
The volume was too thick to fit in my handbag. Seven hundred and fourteen pages long. While I had no intention of reading it from start to finish, I was sure I’d find passages that appealed to me as I leaned through it. It’s good to have books like that on hand. (The Gotthard Railway)
NO WALKING HERE. It was incredible! People will try to ban anything. Who in their right mind would put a sign like that in an empty field? Perhaps they couldn't think of anything else to ban. What other reason could there be? I was sure I’d find other signs as I went along. Like, NO USING TYPEWRITERS HERE. Or, SENTENCES WITHOUT SUBJECTS ARE FORBIDDEN. It was just officialdom making sure people didn’t think they could do as they liked out here in the snow. (The Gotthard Railway)
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The Bridegroom Was a Dog is perhaps the Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada's most famous story. Its initial publication in 1998 garnered admiration fromThe New Yorker, who praised it as, "fast-moving, mysteriously compelling tale that has the dream quality of Kafka." The Bridegroom Was a Dog begins with a schoolteacher telling a fable to her students. In the fable, a princess promises her hand in marriage to a dog that has licked her bottom clean. The story takes an even stranger twist when that very dog appears to the schoolteacher in real life as a dog-like man. They develop a very sexual, romantic courtship with many allegorical overtones -- much to the chagrin of her friends.

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