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– tekijä: Yōko Tawada

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
412,789,345 (4)-
Viimeisimmät tallentajatalanteder, annekliimask, HelenV., petjavolk
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Suspicious Characters on a Night Train
Review of the Estonian language translation of the Japanese language original 容疑者の夜行列車 Yōgisha no yakō ressha (Suspects on Night Train) (2002)

This is one of those fairly rare occurances where I was able to read the Estonian language translation of a foreign language work before an English language translation was available. Tawada's Suspicious Characters... is described in its Estonian language synopsis as:Yōko Tawada (born 1960) lives in Berlin, writes in both Japanese and German, and has gained attention and recognition for her work, which is characterized by playing on the boundaries of language and imagination.

The short 2nd-person-viewpoint novel "Suspicious Characters on a Night Train" combines everyday observations with dreamlike experiences. On her journey by train through the cities of Europe and Asia, "you" comes into contact with a number of special characters: conductors and performers, professors and prostitutes, actors and gods. These unintended meetings force the protagonist to constantly re-evaluate her relationships with those around her and even with herself.
Although the description says that this is a "novel", the book actually consists of 13 short stories that are only tied together due to their taking place on night trains to different cities. I did not notice that any characters crossed over between the tales, although several do say that the protagonist is a dancer. In other stories though, the lead character is described as a pianist or a writer. The main tie-in is that they have a job that requires them to attend different performances or readings in various cities.

Aside from the odd characters that the protagonist meets, the stories have the additional quirky elements of being titled as "Carriages" and of being written in the rare 2nd person viewpoint where the narrator addresses the protagonist as "you."

This was a fairly light-hearted series of curious incidents in the night time and was an enjoyable read.

These are primarily the set-ups for the stories, but some may consider these spoilers, so I've blocked it accordingly.
Vagun 1. Teel Pariisi (Carriage 1. On the Road to Paris) A pianist attempts to reach her recital in Paris despite a French rail strike.
Vagun 2. Teel Grazi (Carriage 2. On the Road to Graz) A dancer attempts to reach her performance in Graz despite various trains being cancelled. She is helped by some strangers.
Vagun 3. Teel Zagrebi (Carriage 3. On the Road to Zagreb) A writer travelling from Italy to Zagreb is asked by their fellow passengers to carry their coffee packages across the border.
Vagun 4. Teel Belgradi (Carriage 4. On the Road to Belgrade) A tourist meets a shady character on the train who persists in inviting her for coffee, a meal and then to his home.
Vagun 5. Teel Pekingisse (Carriage 5. On the Road to Peking) A tourist travelling to Peking has troublesome carriage partners in their sleeping cabin.
Vagun 6. Teel Irkustskisse (Carriage 6. On the Road to Irkutsk) A traveller is asked by a stranger to forge a postcard on the street in Moscow and then meets the woman who the postcard was addressed to along with the stranger on the train to Irkutsk.
Vagun 7. Teel Habarovskisse (Carriage 7. On the Road to Habarovsky) A passenger falls off a night train in Siberia and makes their way to a solitary cabin.
Vagun 8. Teel Viini (Carriage 8. On the Road to Vienna) A passenger says that they take the night train in order to meet interesting characters. Their fellow passenger describes an odd incident that they experienced with a woman who said she was being followed.
Vagun 9. Teel Baselisse (Carriage 9. On the Road to Basel) On the night train to Basel, a dancer has a cabin partner who is an actress that tells stories of her various acting auditions.
Vagun 10. Teel Hamburgi (Carriage 10. On the Road to Hamburg) While waiting for a night train to Hamburg, a tourist goes to the botanical garden & other sites. She attends a movie (the description of which sounds a lot like “A Lady Vanishes” (1938) by Alfred Hitchcock) and falls asleep. Later she wishes she knew the end of the movie.
Vagun 11. Teel Amsterdami (Carriage 11. On the Road to Amsterdam) A small boy enters the sleeping cabin of a woman passenger and acts as if it is his as well. The parents are nowhere to be seen.
Vagun 12. Teel Bombaysse (Carriage 12. On the Road to Bombay) A traveller in India is trying to manage with little money and sells her nail clippers to someone in exchange for a perpetual train ticket. I think this was the only story that identified the traveller as female and Japanese.
Vagun 13. Teel linna, mida polegi (Carriage 13. On the Road to a City, that doesn’t exist) Passengers argue on a train. One has misplaced an x-ray that he requires in order to see a doctor during his vacation. He orders the others to move so that he can make a more thorough search.


Trivia and Links
The Loomingu Raamatukogu (The Creation Library) is a modestly priced Estonian literary journal which initially published weekly (from 1957 to 1994) and which now publishes 40 issues a year as of 1995. It is a great source for discovery as its relatively cheap prices (currently 3 to 5€ per issue) allow for access to a multitude of international writers in Estonian translation and of shorter works by Estonian authors themselves. These include poetry, theatre, essays, short stories, novellas and novels (the lengthier works are usually parcelled out over several issues).

For a complete listing of all works issued to date by Loomingu Raamatukogu see Estonian Wikipedia at: https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loomingu_Raamatukogus_ilmunud_teoste_loend_aastak%... ( )
  alanteder | Aug 11, 2020 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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