Henry's Reviews > I Am a Cat

I Am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume
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's review
Jul 01, 2011

liked it
Read in June, 2011

Early twentieth century Japanese social satire. Told from the perspective of a sardonic cat, who observes the goings on of his master's family and friends. Definitely insightful and pretty amusing at parts, but overall the tone is dominated by pessimism and cynicism. Reminded me a lot of The Misanthrope in terms of tone and ambiguity about who's way of thinking is worthy of merit (A: probably no one's). The translation seems quite good in terms of replacing aphorisms or idioms with their equivalent when possible, and notes where there are untranslatable puns (e.g. the sound of a Chinese word when pronounced by a Japanese person), which I appreciated. Probably still a whole other level of allegorical Chinese-lit humor that I totally missed though.
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