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I Am a Cat [Format Kindle]

Soseki Natsume , Aiko Ito , Graeme Wilson

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

"A nonchalant string of anecdotes and wisecracks, told by a fellow who doesn't have a name, and has never caught a mouse, and isn't much good for anything except watching human beings in action..." —The New Yorker

Written over the course of 1904-1906, Soseki Natsume's comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.

A classic of Japanese literature, I Am a Cat is one of Soseki's best-known novels. Considered by many as the greatest writer in modern Japanese history, Soseki's I Am a Cat is a classic novel sure to be enjoyed for years to come.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1950 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 482 pages
  • Editeur : Tuttle Publishing (20 décembre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007MAU4HA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°33.032 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  53 commentaires
348 internautes sur 352 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful translation 13 novembre 2004
Par Christopher I. Lehrich - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am shocked, deeply shocked, by comments that this is a poor translation. The original text is phenomenally complex, with interwoven puns and jokes and references to make an ordinary translator weep. Most such translations are stilted, painful to read except as "cribs" for students.

But this one, well. Heh.

Okay, consider this:

"I've just been visiting a businessman and, according to him, the only way to succeed is to practice the 'triangled technique': try to escape your obligations, annihilate your kindly feelings, and geld yourself of the sense of shame. Try-an-geld. You get it? Jolly clever, don't you think?"

This is a remark from one of the various intellectual snobs who are dominant characters here. Now if you can't guess, and I suppose several of the reviewers here can't, there is a complicated pun in the original (my wife teaches Japanese literature and deals with the originals, you see). But the point is that it's sort of funny, but really it's just a play on words that's a little too labored to be funny. It's a joke for the sort of intellectual snobs that find this kind of thing amusing. And that's exactly what comes across with this "try-an-geld" thing. Brilliant!

I know a professor who teaches Japanese literature who started working through the original and this translation with his students. At every turn, they found another deft and elegant in-joke turned into a deft and elegant English variant. It's not perfect, but this is as close to a perfect translation as you're ever likely to find.

For those of you who know a lot about literature, consider translating Nabokov -- let's say Lolita or Pale Fire -- into Chinese, a totally uninflected language. Can you say, "pain"? Insanely difficult. Okay, same problem here. But Ito and Wilson pull it off.

For normal people, let's bear in mind that this book is hysterical, if you're a little worldly-wise and a little over-educated. If you know people like the intellectual snobs and elites who populate this book, you're going to love this. You can quickly get over the fact that it's early 20th C. Japan -- academics are academics, and you will recognize them immediately.

In case you were wondering, Mr. Sneaze's name, in Japanese, is Mr. Sneeze. Yes, it's a weird name. No, it's not just a name, it's bizarre.

I'll conclude with one further remark about translation of this beloved, very funny book, which incidentally is also good for cat lovers (the discussion of appropriate sleeping places based on moral and aesthetic principles, culminating in the assessment that on top of the rice cooker is the correct place for morning naps is very funny if you have a cat), taking up the problem of the title.

Wagahai wa neko de aru.

(Literally) I Am A Cat.

But the problem is that "wagahai" is kind of like the royal "we" taken to extremes; it's a lordly, infinitely superior way of talking, of saying "I". And the "de aru" form is again ultra-formal, just not the way people ever, ever talk. "Neko" is just cat. So the point is that the whole title is insanely incongruous: how could a cat, of all beings, ever say "wagahai", much less use the "de aru" form? Well, this cat can. Believe me, he can. He may have no name, but "wagahai" he is forever, a lord in his domain, a superior being among cats.

If you think academic humor is EVER funny, you will find this book hysterical. Absolutely the funniest thing you've ever read. If you hate all such things, you may not like this. But it's a pity: this cat is a charmer.

If you own a cat, of course, and he does things like indicate (ever so subtly) that somehow he is a superior being who deigns to live with you but is actually studying you for some kind of philosophical text, then you know this cat. And if you're an academic with a cat, you'll get it in two chapters, and be hooked for the rest.

A brilliant translation of a wonderful book. Read it and laugh!
75 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't Be Put Off 12 mai 2004
Par Maren Robinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
I picked up I AM A CAT while browsing one day and almost put it back because I didn't feel like reading a book of its heft (it's over 600 pages) at that moment. But I read the first few pages and realized I had a gem and finished the book in a couple of weeks. The first person (cat) voice of the narrative is inspired. As other reviews have said, Soseki Natsume offers an amusing commentary human nature particularly of academics and hypochondriacs. However, he also offers a closely observed and humorous commentary on cat behavior that can come only from living in close proximity to a cat. Moments when the cat describes his shock on seeing his first human with it's horribly bald face, or his attempt to keep his dignity after finding the theft and eating of a sticky rice ball more difficult than he anticipated are priceless for their humor and vivid description. It is true, however, that as the book progresses the cat's stories become increasingly focused on the humans around him.
I am not in a position to offer an opinion on the translation, however, this book was my introduction to Soseki and I have since read several of his other works in various translations and find this book to be consistent with the style, tone and humor of that emerges from other translations of his writings.
I also found I AM A CAT highly readable. It was originally published serially over many years, and the short vignettes it offers allow one to pick it up and put it down without losing the thread of an overarching story. Additionally, the format of many short stories allows some to be more humorous and other to be more philosophical even poignant and in the best of the stories all three at once. It is a highly imaginative, thoughtful and funny set of stories about human foibles.
38 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Feline Superiority 6 mars 2006
Par Brian Bear - Publié sur Amazon.com
"I Am A Cat" has endured as one of the classics of modern Japanese literature. Everyone I have met from Japan knows it, and it has a deserved place among the best to come from any Japanese author at any time. That said, it is not a light weight book, either physically or mentally.

Set in the early 1900's during a turbulent period of Japan's history, (Japan was at war with Russia and undergoing much social change at the time too), the book is written from the point of view of a cat that was taken in by a teacher of the English Reader. The cat observes various aspects of human life, endeavour and habit, and makes some cutting remarks at times about human stupidity. Don't be fooled by the cat's reference to his "Master". It is a term of convenience, it would seem, and not one indicative of any felt humility on the part of the cat.

The cat makes astute and rather funny observations about human intellectual and artistic endeavour, along with anything else that is in his view. That includes the act of bathing. All along, the cat offers his viewpoint, opinions, advice and general commentary, as well as some deeper philosophical or religious thought. Basically, the cat takes a stab at just about everything. I particularly laughed at his description of the English language. The cat just doesn't hold back.

At over 600 pages, this book is a solid read, but one worth the effort to get through. It is a great book, witty in its observations, cuttingly accurate at times, (even in our own time, it might be said), and just generally a fantastic read. As an added bonus, cat owners will see much of their own pets in the cat of this book. "Master" just isn't the right term.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best depiction of the Meiji era via a cat on the market. 28 novembre 1996
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
_I am a Cat_ by Soseki Natsume is the first installment
in a three-book tale (if I liked puns, I would have said
"tail") of a small cat living with a Japanese family in--not
just a coincidence--Japan. He lives during the period of
the Meiji Restoration, the revolutionary era in which Japan
moves from being a feudal society to a modern one, and is
very obvious about being in favor of--in his eyes--the
logical, traditional ways over inscrutable Western ones.
The stories of his life serve as an allegory for the
warring internal schools of thought of turn-of-the-century
Although it suffers the literary hinders that all
translations do, _I am a Cat_ is succinctly able to give one
a flavor for what is happening. It manages to remain
distinctly Japanese even though it is in English. I would
recommend it to anyone...regardless of their knowledge of
Japan and this time period.
25 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 intellectual snobs 13 août 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is an excellent book by one of Japan's best authors. It is satirical, imaginative, and insightful. It really does give you a unique impression of one of the most dramatic periods in Japan's history. The changes Japan was going through during the setting of this book were probably more dramatic than has ever happened in any other country.
The translation is also very good, not that I'm in any position to be able to compare to the original...unlike, evidently, some reviewers:
What bothers me about some of these reviews, as usually happens with translations, is how often people whine about the quality of the translation. Some great thinker on here has called this one "comically inept." did he actually sit around reading this book in public chuckling in the hopes that someone would ask him why? "oh, it is just this inane translation of a Soseki novel. such pedantic dribble. this charlatin translator is only revealing his ignorance. allow me to enlighten you..." Why doesn't HE make the REAL translation, correct verb uses and all, since everyone else is too stupid to get it.
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