Kenzaburo Oe

The Changeling

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Oe introduces Kogito Choko, a writer in his early sixties, as he rekindles a childhood friendship with his estranged brother-in-law, the renowned filmmaker Goro Hanawa. Goro sends Kogito a trunk of tapes he has recorded of reflections about their friendship, but as Kogito is listening one night, he hears something odd. “I'm going to head over to the Other Side now,” Goro says, and then Kogito hears a loud thud. After a moment of silence, Goro's voice continues: “But don't worry, I'm not going to stop communicating with you.” Moments later, Kogito's wife rushes in; Goro has jumped to his death. With that, Kogito begins a far-ranging search to understand what drove his brother-in-law to suicide. His quest takes him from the forests of southern Japan to the washed-out streets of Berlin, where Kogito confronts the ghosts from his own past and that of his lifelong, but departed, friend.
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451 printed pages
Original publication


    LE MAUSUshared an impression6 years ago

    Read this last year


    lcaneparohas quoted4 years ago
    if we resist the tendency to break—that is, to fall apart—not only will we ourselves remain intact, but we won’t hurt other people
    b4073211443has quoted4 years ago
    That might have been, in part, because he was intrigued by the concept of self-sufficient living off the grid of civilization.
    hazelnutmilktaehas quoted4 years ago
    At times like that, he couldn’t help seeing himself as a lonely, isolated symbol of the generation gap, eating modernity’s dust.

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