10.26.2005

Light reading

I'm one of those people who reads a few books at the same time, in addition to online articles and sites. I've been working my way through Principles of Japanese Discourse, which covers Japanese rhetoric and structure.

It teaches you how to break down Japanese texts (i.e., they're not into topic sentences like we are and don't write in a linear style) so that you can understand what the heck they're saying. You may be able to understand individual words, but when they're strung together it can be confusing, especially when an essay takes a surprise turn, such as when someone is writing about doing the laundry and switches to an observation of the human condition, then goes back to describing the way suds swirl around the tank.

I highly recommend it, if you're in the mood for a heady book that undergrads and grad students would use as a part of their Japanese academic studies. It's not the kind of book that you can read through in one sitting, unlike some of the grammar-light books that are out there.

Actually, whenever I read a section of the book, I'm ready to dissect a university library or wander around a campus to instigate complex conversations.

6 comments:

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 27 05

Thx for the suggestion. One thing that my father always says when trying to Watch Anime is that it is discontinuous and how in the hell is he supposed to follow it! When you have said that their sentence structure doesn't flow linearly it makes total sense! I will direct him to your site. See I learned something else!

mj said...

I don't know if what this book talks about relates to anime (because the book is about written texts), but I've certainly also seen that discontinuous weirdness in Japanese commercials, too.

Thanks for all your compliments. Now I know that at least a few people are reading this blog.

a guy in pajamas said...

Cool. I'll have to get that. Thanks for pointing it out!

mj said...

And enjoy the extra brain cells you'll acquire!

a guy in pajamas said...

Extra? What's this extra talk? I'll just be happy to have some instead of a few!

mj said...

I think he you have more than "some"--especially since you have to swim culturally and politically upstream.