密やかな結晶 ePUB µ Paperback

  • Paperback
  • 342 pages
  • 密やかな結晶
  • Yōko Ogawa
  • French
  • 13 September 2015
  • 9782742788293

10 thoughts on “密やかな結晶

  1. says:

    gotta consider how to describe my thoughts on this one but i’m pretty confident that a three star is the way to go although it’s honestly subject to change u know me indecisive af

  2. says:

    The Memory Police is a hypnotic gentle novel that begins as a surveillance state dystopia and ends as something existential a surreal and haunting meditation on our sense of self First published in Japan 25 years ago and newly available in English translation this novel has a timeless feel The inhabitants of an unnamed island living under an oppressive regime experience a form of collective gradual amnesia Upon waking a seemingly random item—roses birds boats—will begin to fade from their minds They must ensure the item's complete erasure by purging all evidence of its existence from the world The Memory Police are there to crush any feeble resistance but most people drift along with passive complaisance What's the point in clinging to something you can't remember?A small number of people are immune to the phenomenon They who alone are cursed with complete memories of all that has been lost pose a threat to the regime and must conceal their outsider status at all costsThe plot such as it is concerns a woman's efforts to hide one of these individuals in a purpose built annex under her floorboards in a manner reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank Although it's never referred to as such the room is an oubliette a secret chamber that can only be accessed via a trapdoor in its ceiling the name comes from the French oublier 'to forget' Meanwhile the 'forgettings' accelerate becoming and extreme This is a uiet serene personal sort of apocalypse where attempts at resistance are small and which culminates in the very destruction of the self I also recently read Revenge by the same author and a uote from that book applies perfectly to this oneThe prose was unremarkable as were the plot and characters but there was an icy current running under her words and I found myself wanting to plunge into it again and againWith its powerful resonant allegory and that icy current this is a memorable read 4 stars

  3. says:

    The horrors of forgetting At first glance The Memory Police originally published in Japan in 1994 and now available in an excellent English translation looks like a descendant of George Orwell's Set on an unnamed island objects are routinely disappeared both physically and also in the minds of the people One day birds disappear The next day it could be a type of candy Anyone who dares to keep disappeared items is in danger Those who actually remember them are in bigger danger The Memory Police clad in luxurious uniforms keep everyone living in fear People who remember are taken away never to return againWhen a young writer learns her editor is one of the people who remembers she is determined to protect him by hiding him in a secret room in her houseSo yeah it's set up like a typical dystopian novel that deftly illustrates the insidious dehumanizing claw of totalitarianism And Yōko Ogawa does this very well There's a uiet tension that stalks the pages of the novel The fear claustrophobia and struggle feel real But she moves further and I love that she did this past the political and into the larger universal sphere of deathYes death Because the people don't just lose objects when things are disappeared With each lost item people also lose the associated memories Thus their hearts souls and selves suffer losses that cannot be recovered The young woman worries about the day when everything on the island is disappeared When the people are disappeared Her editor a man who still can remember keeps reassuring her Just because things have been disappeared doesn't make them any less real Even if everything disappeared the stories would be there He promises to protect the memoriesBut with patient hypnotic progression the losses continue It becomes less about the woman losing the world around her and about the man losing the woman before his eyesI loved this my first foray into Ogawa's large oeuvre Written in deceptively flat simple prose it offers no easy answers We don't know the wheres whens hows whys This has twinges of The Vegetarian and even The Metamorphosis with weird alienating transformations and much left to the reader to discern It also feels particularly relevant in today's world and here's where it gets political again where our collective memories seem no better than that of a goldfish's swimming in the ether where yesterday's news is swallowed up in today's hypocrisyDevastating and terrifying this forced march towards complete loss In a world where writers lose their voice where is the hope? I like to believe it's tiny and it's secret and maybe it's not enough but it's there in a hidden room where the seeds of resistance and memory reside

  4. says:

    We’re in a small town on a Japanese island It’s dominated by the brutal “memory police” who make things disappear Well they make people make them disappear by declaring that ribbon or emeralds or stamps have to disappear and the citizens reluctantly but dutifully gather and hold bonfires to burn the now forbidden item of the month Some people keep forbidden items and if the MP’s hear of that they will kick your door in and confiscate the items and haul you off who knows where It’s likely you won’t be heard of againAnd not only do they forbid hoarding of items they want the memory of those items to be destroyed Most people forget what ribbon was or what it was used for and they forget the smell of now banned perfume But some people remember The MPs want those people The MPs know who they are and a few good souls hide them from the police in basements and secret rooms at great peril to themselvesOur heroine is a young novelist Her mother a sculptor was a hoarder of banned items Her mother is no longer with us The young woman only has two friends her publisher and an old family friend who ran the ferry boat to the mainland before the ferry was “disappeared” She doesn’t have the power of memory but she’s hiding someone in her house who doesEven important things begin to be banned birds fruit and guess what else? It’s a novel about the trauma of loss We get to read excerpts from her latest novel about a woman who permanently loses her voice so we have a story within a story that’s a metaphor for the on going horrors She develops a love interest in her real life along with the woman in her story so that helps keep the plot moving along A good story and I think the book has the potential over time to become a classic of dystopian totalitarian literature along with others such as Brave New World Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 A classic uote used in the book “Men who start by burning books end up burning other men” I recently read and enjoyed another book by this Japanese author b 1962 The Housekeeper and the Professor It too was about memory loss an elderly professor who could retain recent memory only for an hour and a half Top photo on Honshu Island from thetimescoukIllustration from mexikaresistancefileswordpresscomThe author from smhcomau

  5. says:

    I still think that the premise of this book is really thought provoking as an extension and perhaps even conclusion? to Orwell's 1984 but the plot didn't pull it together for me I left with a lot of uestions and frustrations continually asking why? or how? We had a great discussion about it on the podcast though

  6. says:

    ‘’Long ago before you were born there were many things here; my mother used to tell me when I was still a child ‘’Transparent things fragrant thingsfluttery ones bright oneswonderful things you can’t possibly imagine It’s a shame that the people who live here haven’t been able to hold such marvelous things in their hearts and minds but that’s just the way it is one this island Things go on disappearing one by one It won’t be long now’’ she added ‘’You’ll see for yourself Something will disappear from your life’’ In an unnamed island time passes uietly carrying the years of the islanders along the way The years and the memories Literally Objects we all take for granted have disappeared Ribbons bells precious stones perfume flowers fruit Objects and notions are being forgotten along with feelings and thoughts The elders of the community hide the secrets of the past in their eyes and hearts unable to share them because the Memory Police are there to enforce the disappearances Becoming and brutal they persecute the ones who dare to react by preserving tokens of the lost objects or the citizens who are genetically unable to forget The Memory Police want to create a community where every thought and feeling will have become a thing of the past lost and forgotten until there’s nothing left until everyone is soulless ‘’I wonder how the wind could tell the roses from all the other flowers’’ This is my first Ogawa novel and it proved to be one of the strangest most haunting reading experiences Behind the scenery of a form of a totalitarian regime Ogawa presents issues that provide ample material for contemplation and discussion What is the significance of Memory? How does it define the world we know? A ribbon is a ribbon because we know its name we recognize its use If we wake up one morning and decide that it is time to discard every ribbon we own forget its existence and go on living how will this change affect us? Once we forget every gift of Nature every object mankind has created since the dawn of time we will simply cease to exist ‘’I sometimes wonder what I’d see if I could hold your heart in my hands’’ Ogawa creates a storyparable of disappearing notions and objects to refer to freedom of thought and speech demonstrating the strong bond between our feelings and experiences and the way we perceive the world through our senses We see an object we smell a perfume we listen to a melody and thoughts start flooding our mind Without these stimuli we are empty vessels And this is exactly what regimes need Empty moulds that have lost the ability to think and feel Let us think of our past Hitler and Stalin tried to create a ‘’clean sheet’’ out of troubled societies controlling everything But Thought and Memory cannot be controlled Not even by monstersOgawa chooses not to name the country the story is set in The heroine and the cast of characters remain nameless Even the editor whom the young woman is trying to protect is simply called ‘’R’’ This choice intensifies the haunting atmosphere and the universality of the themes The main character is a very sympathetic tangible woman Sensitive brave and determined to keep the spirit and the memory of her parents alive She is a human being who thinks and feels experiencing the dilemmas and fears of the one who tries to swim against the current having lost her mother and father to the Memory Police ‘’Autumn passed uickly The crushing of the waves was sharp and cold and the wind brought the winter clouds from beyond the mountains’’ In literary terms this novel is uietly devastating Haunting and atmospheric its prose is hypnotic and unassumingly philosophical The autumnal scenes and the long winter that seems to be unwilling to leave the island create a melancholic setting that makes the looming threat of the Memory Police a little bearable The scenes of the disappearing roses will make you cry The dialogue is poetic and the extracts of the novel written by the main character add another dimension to the plot Written 15 years ago this novel has all the characteristics of Japanese Literature and succeeds in creating a Dystopian setting that is effective and terrifying Most of the contemporary Anglo Saxon wannabe Dystopian writers could learn a thing or two by reading Ogawa’s masterpiece I doubt they will though ‘’I make my living now from my writing So far I've published three novels The first was about a piano tuner who wanders through music chops and concert halls searching for her lover a pianist who has vanished She relies solely on the sound of his music that lingers in her ears The second was about a ballerina who lost her right leg in an accident and lives in a greenhouse with her boyfriend who is a botanist And the third was about a young woman nursing her younger brother who suffers from a disease that is destroying his chromosomes Each one told the story of something that had been disappeared’’ Many thanks to Pantheon and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviewMy reviews can also be found on

  7. says:

    The Memory Police is one of my top ten books for 2019Originally published in 1994 and released in translation only this year and with a decent marketing budget as evidenced by the stunning cover and many interviews and reviews it is compelling Like all of Ogawa’s works it is also timeless It may strike us as a novel of the moment because state surveillance is its backdrop But Ogawa’s stories are about how people respond to their circumstances to limitations What motivates them What confuses them What compels them to make this or that choice Her language is calm unexcited She describes unnerving events with simplicity Her words linger but don’t shout Ogawa has written 20 books and won multiple awards but Memory Police is only her fifth to be published in English All have been translated by Stephen Snyder a professor of Japanese studies at Middlebury College If you tend to avoid literature in translation get over it for this one please Snyder’s translation is amazing The Memory Police is Japanese – not American so our protagonist isn’t the heroic sort determined to defy the system She is a writer living on an island that none are able to depart Objects and concepts occasionally disappear – sometimes physically sometimes the community’s collective understanding of them evaporates such that they remain in existence but meaningless to all Ogawa offers no explanation for either the mechanism or the rules of disappearing Disappearing is useful primarily for exploring the role of memory in how we become us as individuals and as communities and whether – if those memories are dismantled – we change and to what extent Our protagonist is calm She goes along to get along As a child she lost her mother to the memory police She’s in her early 20s now and a novelist But now other objects are disappearing – music roses stories Occasionally people are taken away by the Memory Police and never seen again Because she fears for good reason that her editor R is at risk of being disappeared in the South American manner familiar to all in the 1970s she finds a way to hide him – with the assistance of a friend in a room hidden between the floors of her home The suggestion of Anne Frank an inspiration Ogawa has flagged in multiple interviews acts as a bit of distraction for the reader R is the defender of community and individual memory of the importance of writing and reading as a means of preserving the past and understanding who one is Ogawa is ever the mistress of misdirection As the pages turned I worried unceasingly about R and the dog Meanwhile in the moment I missed the forestAt one point our writer protagonist is working on a story about a typist whose instructor interacts with her in ways that are at first dismaying then baffling and finally cruel Her story is presented in segments without any framing One of the irresistible and confounding mysteries of The Memory Police is the significance of the story within a story I promise you you’ll spend a lot of time contemplating how the two stories relate and perhaps arriving at a handful of possibilities If you bring an ounce of humility to The Memory Police you’ll remain a little uncomfortable and a tad uncertain about the interpretation you choose I love that Ogawa leaves us with uestions than answers In a profile of Ogawa published August 12 2019 the NYTimes included the following uote “Ogawa considers herself an eavesdropper on her characters ‘I just peeked into their world and took notes from what they were doing’ she said” Her eavesdropping is unparalleled Enough to make a fan of a champion dystopian avoider like meIf you're worried about the dog view spoileryou don't need to He's healthy and happy to the last page hide spoiler

  8. says:

    uiet and understated The Memory Police reflects on what it means to remember the past in the face of state repression The allegorical novel follows an unnamed writer living on a remote island locked in perpetual winter ruled by an authoritarian gang of police who slowly banish residents’ memories of all they’ve ever known from rose gardens to novels Not all the residents forget though and those who don’t are rounded up and killed by the police; the story centers on the writer’s fraught attempt to hide inside her home her editor who can remember everything the police outlaw and destroy As with any uasi allegory the concept’s hazy the characters one note and the setting vague but Ogawa writes clear entrancing prose that’s compelling to read The newly translated novel was written over two decades ago and its tale of loss and repression in a land beset by climate chaos is especially resonant today in the face of a warming world and ever intensifying political turmoil

  9. says:

    This book cannot be rated because it surpasses that structure of confinement that a star rating can give I picked this book up from my library after seeing it in BN and reading the blurb “a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance” I was hooked from the beginning It takes a lot for me to almost finish a book in one sitting but this story was so haunting and compelling like a sleepy nightmare unfolding before you while you are unable to look away Told in a way that relies heavily on the main character’s internal dialogue this story follows an unnamed island full of obscure characters whose names don’t matter because it’s their existence and being that sticks with you the most The lack of definitive details about the characters and the island itself similar to 1984 is so striking and cryptic that I was drawn forward to read because from the moment you begin this novel you know it won’t end well and yet I read onI’m a sucker for a good uiet drama that doesn’t offer definitive answers to the uestions I had swirling in my mind I loved how murky and foreboding this entire story was I loved how we were thrust into the middle of a world already controlled by a higher being who never makes an appearance but looms over the entire narrative I loved how each character’s history and existence itself was obscure in a way that didn’t make this story feel as though it were lacking in substance While this story may seem murky it alludes to how easily we as a society are so uick to forget and toss aside memories and pieces of history to adjust to our current situations without uestioning how easily we can let memories of the past float away from our minds I could write a thesis about how moving and stunning this story was but I’ll leave it at that This will be on my mind for years I won’t let it escape my memory

  10. says:

    Shortlisted for International Booker prize 2020This was the final book I read from the International Booker Prize shortlist When I first finished the short novel I considered my reading experience to be of 4 but after than a week and no review I realized my memory of my reading experience started to fade and my rating to lower a bit “My memories don’t feel as though they’ve been pulled up by the root Even if they fade something remains Like tiny seeds that might germinate again if the rain falls And even if a memory disappears completely the heart retains something A slight tremor or pain some bit of joy a tear”I feel the same about this novel What I am left with are faded feelings of uietness sadness discomfort endearment for the character of the old man anger for the complacence of the people when faced with the loss of memories and later of their own beings On an unnamed island people are living under an oppressive regime and suffer some sort of amnesia periodically forgetting all meaning and memories of an aspectobject One time they forget about birds another time photographs lose their meaning The disappeared objects are either burneddrowned or continue to exist without anyone knowing what they are However some people do not forget anything and The Memory Police is hunting them and any person that is offering shelter The main character a woman novelist decides to help her editor R and hides him away in her home She is helped by an old man a former ferry pilot As a dystopia I do not think the novel was anything special but it was successful as a conveyor of moods I was not indifferent while reading the story and the improbability of the subject did not matter as much as the atmosphere The writing was simple as if especially chosen to conspire with the loss of complexity in the life of the island’s inhabitants

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密やかな結晶 L’île où se déroule cette histoire est depuis toujours soumise à un étrange phénomène les choses et les êtres semblent promis à une sorte d’effacement diaboliuement orchestré uand un matin les oiseaux disparaissent à jamais la jeune narratrice de ce livre ne s’épanche pas sur cet événement dramatiue le souvenir du chant d’un oiseau s’est évanoui tout comme celui de l’émotion ue provouaient en elle la beauté d’une fleur la délicatesse d’un parfum la mort d’un être cher Après les animaux les roses les photographies les calendriers et les livres les humains semblent touchés une partie de leur corps va les abandonnerEn ces lieux demeurent pourtant de singuliers personnages Habités de souvenirs en proie à la nostalgie ces êtres sont en danger Traués par les chasseurs de mémoires ils font l’objet de rafles terrifiantesUn magnifiue roman angoissant kafkaïen Une subtile métaphore des régimes totalitaires à travers lauelle Yoko Ogawa explore les ravages de la peur et ceux de l’insidieux phénomène d’effacement des images des souvenirs ui peut conduire à accepter le pire

About the Author: Yōko Ogawa

小川 洋子 was born in Okayama Okayama Prefecture graduated from Waseda University and lives in Ashiya Since 1988 she has published than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction Her novel The Professor and his Beloved Euation has been made into a movie In 2006 she co authored „An Introduction to the World's Most Elegant Mathematics“ with Masahiko Fujiwara a mathematician as a dialogue on the extraordinary beauty of numbersA film in French „L'Annulaire“ The Ringfinger directed by Diane Bertrand starring Olga Kurylenko and Marc Barbé was released in France in June 2005 and subseuently made the rounds of the international film festivals; the film some of which is filmed in the Hamburg docks is based in part on Ogawa's „Kusuriyubi no hyōhon“ 薬指の標本 translated into French as „L'Annulaire“ by Rose Marie Makino Fayolle who has translated numerous works by Ogawa as well as works by Akira Yoshimura and by Ranpo Edogawa into FrenchKenzaburō Ōe has said 'Yōko Ogawa is able to give expression to the most subtle workings of human psychology in prose that is gentle yet penetrating' The subtlety in part lies in the fact that Ogawa's characters often seem not to know why they are doing what they are doing She works by accumulation of detail a techniue that is perhaps successful in her shorter works; the slow pace of development in the longer works reuires something of a deus ex machina to end them The reader is presented with an acute description of what the protagonists mostly but not always female observe and feel and their somewhat alienated self observations some of which is a reflection of Japanese society and especially women's roles within in it The tone of her works varies across the works and sometimes within the longer works from the surreal through the grotesue and the sometimes grotesuely humorous to the psychologically ambiguous and even disturbing