Fear and Trembling
Something bothers me a lot about this novel.
It’s a short novel – 130 pages that can be read at a sitting. Translated from the French, it was a big hit in France and it won a couple of literary prizes when published in 1999. The main character is a young Belgian woman, of college age we assume, who lives in Japan and takes a job for a year in a Japanese corporation. (Just like the Belgian author who was born in Japan.)
She has a woman supervisor (very unusual i ...more
Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et tremblements, which means "Amazement and trembling") is a satirical novel by Amélie Nothomb, first published in 1999, and translated into English by Adriana Hunter in 2001. It was awarded the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française that year.
عنوانها: بهت و لرز؛ ترس و لرز؛ اثر: آملی نوتومب؛ انتشاراتیها (کتاب نادر، نشر قطره) تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال 2003 میلادی
I must say, I was really surprised by this book. I work for a Japanese company here in Vancouver and I have noticed that my Japanese co-workers have to adhere to different standards and rules from the rest of us (we don’t question it, what can you do?). It’s been interesting working there because half of my co-workers are Japanese, the other half aren’t. We’ve had to adapt to each other’s cultures and I think we do so quite well. It does feel like we’re split into two camps and I ha ...more
Rule number 1: NEVER take initiative for anything you're not supposed to take initiative for. The heroine finds this out the hard way. She's just started working for this Japanese company. She speaks fluent Japanese, French and English, so of course, like any Westerner, she's looking for an opportunity to impress her new bosses. A col ...more
(Bonkers : a demotic English term meaning crazy but with the element of horror removed and an extra squirt of I will never understand this in a million years – get me out of this room!)
I tried, you may know this already, to get on board with The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. That was a little too eyerollingly cute-weird for me. I had a go with the other Murakami guy (Ryu, not Haruki) and he was really strange.
Then there was Natsuo Kirino. The ...more
For reasons I didn't care to research and find out Nothomb, although Belgian by nationality and currently living in Paris, was born in Kobe, Japan. This book is based on her true experiences as a lowly employee in a big Japanese company for one whole year.
She had a layer of bosses, all Japanese. Her immediate superior, Miss Mori, was beautiful but petty, malicious, neurotic a ...more
I didn't enjoy this book. I take issue with anyone portraying Japan as some out-there foreign country. Having spent a short period of my life living in Japan (a fraction longer than Nothomb did in the book) and I'm the first to acknowledge that it's very different but books like this just add to the misconception that it's some sort of society gone mad. It seems to be one of the last countries where it is accepta ...more
Ancient Japanese protocol stipulated that the Empreror be addressed with "fear and trembling". I've always loved the expression, which so perfectly describes the way actors in Samurai films speak to their leader, their voices tremulous with almost superhuman reverence.
I would have fired Amélie. There's a judge and gavel going "Next!" That she should absolutely have been fired made me not care too much about her story. Work place nonsense beating the day dreams out of you with Alice in Wonderland ...more
This book is a fictionalised, satirical account of a young Belgian woman's year spent working for a large Japanese corporation and the constant stream of humiliations she suffers. While Nothomb is certainly sending up Japanese culture, she somehow manages to do this with quite an empathetic touch, and there are some very funny details/ ...more
Perfect for one afternoon, a weekend - if you're a slow reader or even a short holiday - if you take reading as sleeping ...more
till the half of the book it was ordinary nothing outstanding the big fat serpent started hissing and the legendary Nothomb was about to fall from my reading Eden suddenly with a spectacular mind blowing madness scene humbly she invited me to the great Nothombic realm of wisdom and unique philosophy yet so simple and funny, effortlessly connected with her till the end of book still struggling to disconnect!!
so thankful to my friends Hoda and Isabel ...more
This is the story of a Belgian interpreter who works in a big Japanese company in Kyoto.
With plenty of humor and irony, the author describes how the hierarchy scheme is able to destroy the character of an Occidental foreign young woman who struggles to be accepted and recognize by her work.
Le cerveau nippon est proclament capable de se forcer a oublier une langue. Le cerveau occidental n'en a pas les moyens.
Elle marcha vers moi, avec Hiros...more
The book is just 100 pages long and I can talk about it and everything I learned from it for hours! HOURS!
It's a great book for anyone interested in cultural psychology. A must read, actually. It's about the differences between the East and the West, told from the perspective of a very thoughtful young woman who understands both words and kinda loves them both.
It's written in a simple, elegant manner and sometimes it's an actual poetry, so lovely and enchanting! ...more
|Reading 1001: Fear and Trembling by Amélie Nothomb||2||8||Sep 04, 2019 05:52PM|
|What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Memoir by a woman who went to Asia to live because of romantic memories from her childhood in that country, and completely failed at the workplace because of culture clash. [s]||4||21||Jan 23, 2019 01:57PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Can you please add cover ?||6||31||Apr 03, 2018 03:18PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Problem with Czech edition of book||5||44||Nov 21, 2013 05:48AM|
She is from a distinguished Belgian political fa ...more
These precepts would be merely anecdotal if they weren’t taken so much to heart.”