Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ab Sango

The 148th winner of the Akutagawa Prize is ab Sango (abさんご) by Natsuko Kuroda (黒田夏子), and at 75 years and 9 months she is the oldest recipient of the award. So all of you that are harbouring dreams of literary glory, it's never to late to start writing.

I've just started reading it, and even though it is quite short, as a non-native reader of Japanese, I'm finding the style of the prose quite difficult. When I started reading Japanese, I found it much easier to comprehend books written in basic kanji rather than the text for younger readers written in hiragana. Natsuko Kuroda's stlye of large sections of hiragana are a slow painful process for me, I find myself having to reread the same line several times to catch the meaning, and I would much prefer a version with more kanji! Then when she does use kanji, it can be equally confusing, as I found myself diving for my dictionary to discover that 禽 is just bird(鳥).

Anyway, I'm enjoying the challenge and hope to get through it in the next day or two.

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