Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
Ukigumo by Futabatei Shimei
Blurb from Goodreads
Ukigumo, (Japanese: “The Drifting Clouds”) novel by Futabatei Shimei, published in 1887–89. It was published in three parts, at first under the name of the author’s more-famous friend, Tsubouchi Shōyō. It was published in English as Japan’s First Modern Novel: Ukigumo of Futabatei Shimei. Ukigumo was one of the first attempts to replace classical Japanese literary language and syntax with the modern colloquial idiom.
Utsumi Bunzō, the novel’s antihero protagonist, lives in Tokyo and refuses to compromise the ancient code of behaviour ingrained in him by his samurai background. Although he is likable and decent, he is no match for the ambitious Noboru, to whom he loses the love of Osei, a girl who loves Western culture and ideals. The book ends abruptly and some critics feel that it was left unfinished. (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)
Why I Want To Read It
It is Monday again! I hope everyone had a great start to the week. Otherwise, I hope that the rest of the week will treat everyone kindly. I hope that the coming days will be filled with nothing but great and positive news. I understand that the World Health Organization recently announced the culmination of the global health emergency that lasted a little over three years. However, the virus is still very much present; case in point, cases have been rising again here in the Philippines. As such, I implore everyone to observe the minimum health standards. Nevertheless, I hope everyone is doing well, in body, mind, and spirit.
Kicking off another week of blogging is a new Goodreads Monday update. I spent April reading works of Japanese literature; my travel at the start of the month prompted me to kick off my journey into this part of the literary world which I ordinarily schedule in July, my birth month. By now, it has been established that Japanese literature is one of my favorite parts of the literary world. In April, I read exclusively the works of writers who are new to me such as Morio Kita, Sôsuke Natsukawa, and Genki Kawamura. Meanwhile, in May, I have been reading the works of Japanese writers who are familiar to me; I have resolved to do this even when I started my April reading journey. I am currently reading my third Keigo Higashino novel, The Devotion of Suspect X. Also going to be part of my May reading line-up are Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Banana Yoshimoto, Yasunari Kawabata, and Hiromi Kawakami.
However, for this week’s Goodreads update, I am featuring a new-to-me writer; I have done so in April and it seems that May is going to take the same route. While I am immersing myself in the works of Japanese literature, I have also been backing this journey up with research about Japanese literature. This led me to Futabatei Shimei (二葉亭 四迷), a writer, literary critic, and translator. I encountered him through his novel Ukigumo ( 浮雲, Drifting Cloud). The reason why I wanted to read the book is pretty straightforward. I have learned that this book, which was originally published in three parts between June 1887 and August 1889, is considered the first modern Japanese novel. When it was translated into English, it carried the title Japan’s First Modern Novel: Ukigumo of Futabatei Shimei.
Obtaining a copy of the book, however, seems to be a challenge. Nevertheless, I am still hoping that I can get my hands on a copy of the book someday. How about you fellow reader? How was your Monday? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!