Famous Quotes & Sayings

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 62 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Kenzaburo Oe.

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Famous Quotes By Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2037663

After I got married, the first child born to us was mentally handicapped. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 498825

As I grew up, I was continually to suffer hardships in different realms of life - in my family, in my relationship to Japanese society and in my way of living at large in the latter half of the twentieth century. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1903713

The writer's job is the job of a clown ... the clown who also talks about sorrow. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 104692

I wonder if it's suffering."
"What, our generation?"
"The baby! — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1415398

... I kept trying to run away. And I almost did. But it seems that reality compels you to live properly when you live in the real world. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1627154

If I'm a monster then I want to be a real monster. I'll become a monster and explode. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1523747

We are much too tolerant of the moral aberration of statesmen and bureaucrats. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 166246

Even though we now have the half-century-old new Constitution, there is a popular sentiment of support for the old one that lives on in reality in some quarters. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1797348

Bird, don't sound so crushed. The fact that I had never had sex before can only have been significant for me, if it had any meaning at all-it had nothing to do with you. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1877697

In the recent years there have been criticisms levelled against Japan suggesting that she should offer more military forces to the United Nations forces and thereby play a more active role in the keeping and restoration of peace in various parts of the world. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1580471

The destination of the soul: this is what I, led on by Nils Holgersson, came to seek in the literature of Western Europe. I fervently hope that my pursuit, as a Japanese, of literature and culture will, in some small measure, repay Western Europe for the light it has shed upon the human condition. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 633720

The way Japan had tried to build up a modern state modelled on the West was cataclysmic. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 415858

I have survived by representing these sufferings of mine in the form of the novel. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 705021

We naturally try to forget our personal tragedies, serious or trifling, as soon as possible (even something as petty as being scorned or disdained by a stranger on a street corner). We try not to carry these things over to tomorrow. It is not strange, therefore, that the whole human race is trying to put Hiroshima, the extreme point of human tragedy, completely out of mind. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 852596

I think I am doing my works to link myself, my family, with society - with the cosmos. To link me with my family to the cosmos, that is easy, because all literature has some mystic tendency. So when we write about our family, we can link ourselves to the cosmos. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 447744

Paradoxically, the people and state of Japan living on such moral props were not innocent but had been stained by their own past history of invading other Asian countries. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1247953

From the instant the atomic bomb exploded, it became the symbol of all human evil; it was a savagely primitive demon and a most modern curse. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1502169

To talk of prayer after admitting he professed no faith was, in my opinion, a breach of common courtesy. In this sense, he did make a social blunder, for which I think he well deserved some minor castigation. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1588007

The dead can survive as part of the lives of those that still live. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1548685

In silence, Bird reflected sadly on his wife's misconception of the nature of Swahili. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2256071

By reading Huckleberry Finn I felt I was able to justify my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with a sense of security which I could never find indoors. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1476820

It takes a person of great care and insight to watch for any abnormality in the green grass even while it grows abundantly and healthily. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1475893

In introducing himself, he had said, "I'm the father," and the doctors had winced. Because something else must have echoed in their ears- I'm the monster's father. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1441029

For ten years after the atomic bomb was dropped there was so little public discussion of the bomb or of radioactivity that even the Chugoku Shinbun, the major newspaper of the city where the atomic bomb was dropped, did not have the movable type for 'atomic bomb' or 'radioactivity'. The silence continued so long because the U.S. Army Surgeons Investigation Team in the fall of 1945 had issued a mistaken statement: all people expected to die from the radiation effects of the atomic bomb had by then already died; accordingly, no further cases of physiological effects due to residual radiation would be acknowledged. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2143210

I think, we can only write very personal matters through our experience. When I named my first novel about my son A Personal Matter, I believe I knew the most important thing: there is not any personal matter; we must find the link between ourselves, our personal matter, and society. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1604015

When the Russian delegate this summer indicated the Soviet Union's interest in sending medical equipment, Dr Shigeto went right away to see the delegate and settle the matter tactfully. He is careful to steer clear of the superficial swirl of political maneuvering, but never misses any opportunity to improve the capability of the A-bomb Hospital or to enhance concretely the welfare of the patients. In that sense, he sometimes refers to himself as a 'dirty handkerchief.' That is, he serves to filter political purposes out of relief efforts so that the effect on patients is purely and concretely humane. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1720176

Now I was just a transient in the valley, a one-eyed passerby too fat for his years, and life there had the power to summon up neither the memory nor the illusion of any other, truer self. As a passerby I had a right to insist on my identity. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1798763

It is the second job of literature to create myth. But its first job is to destroy it. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1809055

Time doesn't move at all, I thought in irritation. Like a domestics animal, time doesn't move without human beings' strict supervision. Like a horse or a sheep, time won't move a step without grown ups' orders. We are a steady state in the stagnation of time. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1843913

Fundamentally a good author has his or her own sense of style. There is a natural, deep voice, and that voice is present from the first draft of a manuscript. When he or she elaborates on the initial manuscript, it continues to strengthen and simplify that natural, deep voice. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 99004

I am one of the writers who wish to create serious works of literature which dissociate themselves from those novels which are mere reflections of the vast consumer cultures of Tokyo and the subcultures of the world at large. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1888365

The people of Hiroshima went to work at once to restore human society in the aftermath of the great atomic flood. They were concerned to salvage their own lives, but in the process they also salvaged the souls of the people who have brought the atomic bomb. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1901890

Every time you stand at a crossroads of life and death, you have two universes in front of you; one loses all relation to you because you die, the other maintains its relation to you because you survive in it. Just as you would take off your clothes, you abandon the universe in which you are still alive. In other words, various universes emerge around each of us the way tree limbs and leaves branch away from the trunk. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2190108

If any suffering was fruitless it was the agony of a hangover; what he suffered now could not expiate suffering of any other kind. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2043970

His eyes, filled with tears and his own blood, are already blind to all things in reality, but the colossal chrysanthemum topped with a purple aurora illuminates the darkness behind his closed lids more radiantly than any light he has ever seen. His head nothing more than a dark void now, the blood all drained away, he is no longer certain whether the person awaiting him at the top of the stone steps is a certain party, but if he can crawl just one yard more, digging at the hot ground with his bullet-broken hands, he will reach the feet of the person unmistakably awaiting him, whoever he may be, and his blood and his tears will be wiped away. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 2053493

Right now you're about the least attractive Bird I've ever seen ... But I'll sleep with you just the same. I haven't been fastidious about morality since my husband committed suicide; besides, even if you intend to have the most disgusting kind of sex with me, I'm sure I'll discover something genuine in no matter what we do. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 626324

Peril-ridden and fragile, the imperfect human body, what a shameful thing it was! — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 114507

The fear of blindness created a moment's vacuum, serving as a relaxant for my exhausted and overheated brain. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 191357

The ambiguous orientation of Japan drove the country into the position of an invader in Asia. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 195376

He grasped at a prescient feeling, akin to the dialectic of dreams, that this reunion could never come to pass, yet somehow
it most definitely would. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 230525

You're right. I'm the old man who wasn't able to become one of those fish (however many there may have been) swimming eternally in the bluish-green light of the grotto beyond the crack in the rocks. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 300385

There's no better reading experience than going to the place where a text was written. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 305039

It's a little bit like what Akari said to his grandmother in Shikoku, during her final illness: 'Please cheer up and die! — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 399257

In Japan itself there have all along been attempts by some to obliterate the article about renunciation of war from the Constitution and for this purpose they have taken every opportunity to make use of pressures from abroad. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 400614

However, please allow me to say that the fundamental style of my writing has been to start from my personal matters and then to link it up with society, the state and the world. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 400824

Hiroshima is like a nakedly exposed wound inflicted on all mankind. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 472323

There could be joy in destruction, too, couldn't there? Isn't Jesus Christ's Second Coming supposed to occur only after a lot of unmitigated destruction? But again, human history is fraught with tragedies in which man spared no effort to destroy with millenarian joy, only to learn that no messiah appeared afterwards. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 512486

The Japanese chose the principle of eternal peace as the basis of morality for our rebirth after the War. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 569567

I don't think young people need to see the face of the deceased. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1363097

I thought about death and was gripped by feelings which choked my chest and made my throat dry, a sudden pushing and shoving in my guts. It was a sort of chronic ailment I had. Once that feeling and that agitation of my whole body had begun, I wouldn't be able to shake it off until I got to asleep. And I couldn't recall it with the same impact in the daytime. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 661910

In this age of ours it's hard to say with certainty that having lived was better than not having been born in the first place. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 731574

After the end of the Second World War it was a categorical imperative for us to declare that we renounced war forever in a central article of the new Constitution. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 820073

Once a person has been poisoned by self-deception, he can't make decisions about himself as neatly as all that," Himiko said, elaborating her friend's terrific prophecy; " You won't get a divorce Bird. You'll justify yourself like crazy, and try to salvage your married life by confusing the real issues. A decision like divorce is beyond you now, Bird, the poison has gone to work. And you know how the story ends ? Not even your own wife will trust you absolutely, and one day you'll discover for yourself that your entire private life is in the shadow of deception and in the end you'll destroy yourself. Bird, the first signs of self-destruction have appeared already!"
" But that's a blind alley! Leave it to you to paint the most hopeless future you can think of. " Bird lunged at jocularity ... — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 906717

Bird, hesitating, recalled a line from the English textbook he was reading with his students; a young American was speaking angrily: Are you kidding me? Are you looking for a fight? — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 989012

In the swift wounding of his own flesh on a bewildering impulse from the hot, pitch-black core of himself he had felt a deep joy which was not only unperceived by the hoodlums surrounding him but which he himself was not even conscious of as joy. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1009455

To be upright and to have an imagination: that is enough to be a very good young man. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1016807

One day Bird had approached his father with this question; he was six years old: Father, where was I a hundred years before I was born? Where will I be a hundred years after I die? Father, what will happen to me when I die? Without a word, his young father had punched him in the mouth, broke two of his teeth and bloodied his face, and Bird forgot the fear of death. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1104377

Probably the sky a hundred yards or so above your head is still nothing more than sky to you. But all that means is that the storehouse happens to be empty at the moment. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1185785

Understanding comes hard to persons of high rank who are accustomed to phony lifestyles that involve no daily work. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1213476

My observation is that after one hundred and twenty years of modernisation since the opening of the country, present-day Japan is split between two opposite poles of ambiguity. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1267735

From another point of view, a new situation now seems to be arising in which Japan's prosperity is going to be incorporated into the expanding potential power of both production and consumption in Asia at large. — Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe Quotes 1323301

'He's black, you see that! I thought he would be all along.' Harelip's voice trembled with excitement. 'He's a real black man, you see!'
'What are they going to do with him, shoot him?'
'Shoot him!' Harelip shouted, gasping with surprise. 'Shoot a real live black man!'
Because he's the enemy,' I asserted without confidence. 'Enemy! You call him an enemy!' Harelip seized my shirt and railed at me hoarsely, spraying my face with saliva through his lip.
'He's a black man, he's no enemy! — Kenzaburo Oe