カズオ・イシグロの文学観 –大学入試問題

これもI氏からの情報提供だが、大江健三郎と Kazuo Ishiguro の1989年の対談記事(初出は Asahi Evening News)(https://books.google.co.jp/books?isbn=1934110620)が、2005年東京外国語大学 前期日程の英語で、出題されているという。
村上春樹とイシグロの違いについて大江健三郎が言及している。またイシグロが自分の文学観を詳細に語っているのが興味深い。少し長いがその内容と問題を掲載する。

【2】次の文章は,日本人作家大江健三郎と日本生まれのイギリスの作家 Kazuo Ishiguro との間で 1989年に行われた対談の一部である。この対談を読み,以下の問いに答えなさい。

Oe: In last evening’s edition of the Asahi Shimbun, there was an article about how a translation of a work by the novelist Murakami Haruki1) is being read widely in New York. The article quoted a review in the New York Times to the effect that it was now possible to imagine a literature of the Pacific Rim.

 For the past week I have beep thinking about just what sort of novelist you are. My conclusion is that, rather than being an English author or a European author, you are an author who writes in English. In terms of furnishing the materials for literature, 1【there is a tremendous power in the English language.】 Somehow, it seems that the initiative in world literature has been with English, especially in the field of the novel. As long as he has the English language, an author can leave England and still remain a great writer. D. H. Lawrence2) was that way, and so was E. M. Forster3). I felt that by thinking of you in this way, as a writer of English, I had got hold of something essential. By way of comparison, Murakami Haruki writes in Japanese, but his writing is not really Japanese. If you translate it into American English, it can be read very naturally in New York. I suspect that this sort of style is not really Japanese literature, nor is it really English literature.

Ishiguro: I think I, too, share these same 2【worries】. I attended a lecture by the European intellectual George Steiner4), who is at Cambridge and very well known in Britain. I think you are familiar with many of his ideas. One of his constant worries is about all the cultures of the world disappearing because they are swallowed up by this ever-growing, large blanket called Anglo-American culture. He is very disturbed by the fact that scientific papers in China, and certainly here in Japan, are often written originally in English, because they have to be presented at conferences where only English is understood ― that in the communist countries the young people listen to the latest Western rock music. He is very afraid of a certain kind of death of culture, because this bland, colorless, huge blanket called Anglo-Americanism is spreading around the world. In order to survive, people have to sacrifice many things that make their culture unique and, in fact, make their art and culture mean something, and, instead, contribute to this meaningless blanket, this strange thing that is conquering the world.

 I think that is quite an important thing to be concerned about. Certainly my generation of writers in Britain have perhaps not worried about that kind of thing enough. We have perhaps been concerned about the opposite problem, of not being international enough. I think this is certainly a problem that we have to think about. I think it will be very strange if we all contribute to the same sort of culture, if we’re all addressing the same sort of audience. We could all end up like international television. A lot of television programs are now rather superficial, but they’re international. It would be sad if literature and serious art were to go the same way ― to the lowest level, in order to appear international. There is a sense among younger writers in England that England is not an important enough country anymore. The older generation of writers thought that Britain was a very important country, and so if you wrote about Britain and British problems, it would automatically be of global significance. The younger generation of writers in England are very aware of the fact that this is no longer true, that England is now rather like a little, provincial town in the world. Some younger British writers have a kind of inferiority complex, that is, they have to consciously make an effort to address international themes, because if they simply write about life in Britain, nobody is going to be interested. Perhaps that feeling doesn’t exist in the United States or Japan, in that there is a strong sense that these two societies are now somehow at the center of the world, and the twenty-first century is going to be somehow dominated by these two powers. But certainly, living in England, I feel that same pressure, that I have to be international. Otherwise, I’m going to end up in the same position as Danish or Swedish writers, of being remote, because a lot of the great questions of today are passing Britain by. In a way, I think young Japanese authors don’t need to feel that sort of inferiority, just because of the way history is moving.

 Writers from Britain and, to a certain extent, writers from Germany and France ― and I myself have had this experience ― go to an international writers’ conference and somehow feel inferior, compared to writers who come from places like Africa, or Eastern Europe, or Latin America, in the sense that in many of the great intellectual battles between liberty and authoritarian regimes, or between communism and capitalism, or between the Third World and the Industrialized World, the front line somehow seems to be in these countries, and there seems to be a more clearly defined role for writers like Kundera5) or some of the African writers. Writers from all the Eastern European countries always seem to have some sort of clear political role to play. This may well be a misunderstanding, but it’s 3【a way of thinking】that comes over a lot of us who come from the more safe countries, if you like, the safe, prosperous countries like Britain, or West Germany, or France, although the situation has suddenly changed for the West Germans.

 Somehow, in terms of the really important things happening in the century, in historical terms, if we are writing from a position like Britain, or Sweden, or France in the latter part of the twentieth century, we are writing from somewhere very far away from where the main events are taking place, and we somehow lack the natural authority of writers who are living in Czechoslovakia, or East Germany, or Africa, or India, or Israel, or the Arab countries. And I think this is the reason for this inferiority complex, rather than simply that Britain is not quite as important an economic power as it used to be. Of course, it is still a very powerful economic force. But just in terms of the great intellectual debates that seem to be central to the latter part of the twentieth century, there is the feeling that perhaps we in England are in the wrong place to view the big battles.

 Perhaps it’s a good thing that British writers feel they have to travel, or that at least in their imaginations they would have to travel. So I think the younger generation of British writers, much more than the older generation, tends to write novels that are not set in Britain, or at least not set in their time. They will look back through history for a time when Britain itself was in crisis, and so the war figures quite large. Or they have to use their imaginations to create completely imaginary landscapes. This kind of thing is happening more and more, and I think it comes out of this idea that somehow England is far away from something important happening politically and socially in the world. Perhaps writers in Japan and the United States do not feel it quite so much, because there is a sense that somehow, quite aside from the economic question, Japan and America are at the forefront of something crucial that is about to happen in the world. I think that has a certain effect on how writers view their work, where they go for material to feed their imaginations.

〔設問〕 
1.下線部1で大江は“there is a tremendous power in the English language”と言っているが,それはどういう意味か。本文に即して50字以内の日本語で説明しなさい。2.下線部2の“worries”の内容を50字以内の日本語で説明しなさい。
3.下線部3でIshiguroが述べている“a way of thinking”とはどういう考えか。50字以内の日本語で説明しなさい。
4.次の選択肢a~hの中から本文の趣旨に合うものを4つ選び,記号を解答欄に記入しなさい。
a.大江はIshiguroと村上をともに高く評価しているが,その理由は2人が国際的な活躍をしているからである。b.大江は,IshiguroがD. H. Lawrenceのようにイギリスを離れるべきだと忠告している。c.大江によれば,村上は日本人作家でありながら日本語・英語どちらの文化にも属していないのでIshiguroとは資質が異なっている。d.Ishiguroと同世代のイギリス人作家は,Steinerの警告を十分に受け止めて“death of culture”に陥らないように警戒している。e.若い日本人作家はイギリス人作家ほど強く国際化を意識する必要はないだろうとIshiguroは考えている。f.Ishiguroによれば,日本とアメリカの作家がイギリスの作家と異なった創作態度に向かうのは両国が経済大国だからではない。g.Ishiguroは,最近のイギリス人作家がイギリス以外の土地や現在とは異なる時代を舞台にして創作するようになってきたと指摘している。h.作家の創作と世界情勢はあまり関係がないとIshiguroは考えている。

<追記、設問4はなかなか難しい。正解は、c. e. F. g.

カテゴリー: 未分類 パーマリンク