[PDF] The Bear and the Paving Stone By Toshiyuki Horie – Reliableradio.co.uk

The Bear and the Paving Stone This is a collection three very good short stories covering many different topics They were interesting and engaging and I would like to readfrom this author. In the course of under 200 pages, Horie ties several threads together that would seem to have no connection, but such is the globalized world that a Japanese student studying in Paris has such a fertile mind that makes this possible Our narrator is a translator with an unusual occupation he transcribes portions of books for the benefit of publishers in order that they may determine whether or not to translate the entire work into Japanese This book, which I am glad has passed this test, cons In the course of under 200 pages, Horie ties several threads together that would seem to have no connection, but such is the globalized world that a Japanese student studying in Paris has such a fertile mind that makes this possible Our narrator is a translator with an unusual occupation he transcribes portions of books for the benefit of publishers in order that they may determine whether or not to translate the entire work into Japanese This book, which I am glad has passed this test, consists of three memory interludes experienced by our guide he spends time in Normandy visiting a friend, musing on the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine as well as the history and development of the definitive French Dictionary by mile Littr Looking at the mysterious Mont St Michele from an an unusual angle That being the longest section The two shorter installments are none the less equally memorable one on the importance of impermanence as exemplified by sand castles, and the other, what does memory hold when in the ruins of a monastery again, in Normandy If anything, I only wish there wereSome of the endings are curiously abrupt, leaving me to wonder if there isor if he feels he made his point and need say noThis will definitely require a second reading 3.5 stars, rounded up.A small collection of three stories These stories are so quiet, it s easy to think they re insubstantial No drama and no plot these are like whispers, or the sound of waves as they recede from the shore It was a bit like entering a dream world a word or an action leads to memories, or to the imagination taking flight Loss, nostalgia, and a melancholic, bittersweet feeling pervade throughout, but I still felt strangely nourished when I finished.The only that lowered my 3.5 stars, rounded up.A small collection of three stories These stories are so quiet, it s easy to think they re insubstantial No drama and no plot these are like whispers, or the sound of waves as they recede from the shore It was a bit like entering a dream world a word or an action leads to memories, or to the imagination taking flight Loss, nostalgia, and a melancholic, bittersweet feeling pervade throughout, but I still felt strangely nourished when I finished.The only that lowered my star rating is the fact that these pieces flirted with the surreal and the strange, but that aspect of it never really fully bloomed I would have liked these to be a little stranger Three short stories about memory, travel, longing and language I really enjoyed all three of the stories in this collection, and will look out forof Horie s work.The title tale, The Bear and the Paving Stone is beautifully told Set in Northern France the countryside is beautifully described, so vivid I felt transported back there The protagonist reconnects with a friend he hasn t seen in many years and we learn of both their lives It s a simple story, but layered with dreams and histor Three short stories about memory, travel, longing and language I really enjoyed all three of the stories in this collection, and will look out forof Horie s work.The title tale, The Bear and the Paving Stone is beautifully told Set in Northern France the countryside is beautifully described, so vivid I felt transported back there The protagonist reconnects with a friend he hasn t seen in many years and we learn of both their lives It s a simple story, but layered with dreams and historical references it becomes something compelling.The Sandman is coming is a story that focuses on sandcastles Told like the kind of series of interconnected memories you might relate to a close friend you haven t seen in a while, where you drift from one to another, dipping back to observe the present from time to time.In the Old Castle was the shortest in the collection, but there was something rather wonderful about it In a similar way to the first story, the protagonist is reconnecting with an old friend in the North of France Before dinner the two friends take a walk to see an old castle in the village which is being restored, they jump the fence to take a closer look, and I shan t give the rest of the story away.All three have their own charm, but feel semi autobiographical, as though they are based on experiences of the author, and told through the filter of time and distance from events What a strange dream like world Toshiyuki Horie has created in these three stories I came across this book entirely by chance, but what caught my eye was that the publishers are Pushkin Press, which a friend of mine loves So, my friend and I started reading this together, and I loved the interlacing of memory in all the three stories There is a sense of loss, of nostalgia, for the past, for what may have been, but Horie surrounds it with a gentle touch of wisdom You don t feel sad when you r What a strange dream like world Toshiyuki Horie has created in these three stories I came across this book entirely by chance, but what caught my eye was that the publishers are Pushkin Press, which a friend of mine loves So, my friend and I started reading this together, and I loved the interlacing of memory in all the three stories There is a sense of loss, of nostalgia, for the past, for what may have been, but Horie surrounds it with a gentle touch of wisdom You don t feel sad when you read about the loss You just feel for Life, because this is what Life does to us We are left with the memories of desire, of haunted ghosts of past regrets, and the utter magic of reliving our life through the sunlight dipped glasses of memories Yeah I quite liked these three short stories They had something to them I was surprised to see that the translator is a former colleague of mine, too While the stories were good, and I enjoyed the translation, I must say that there were quite a few typos in the text that editor, copyeditor, and proofreader really SHOULD have picked up on It s a shame when you re paying 7.99 for a book that it s not being made to a good standard That gripe aside, I quite enjoyed this. The first novella revolved on a reminiscing memories but the way the plot developed was a bit plain, nothing compelling It was dreamy and melodrama, a talk and snippet of literature which I think this part wasof author s admiration towards Littr I got lost for few times reading the story, and the biography part was really draggy to the point I thought I was reading Littr instead of a novella written by Horie I don t really favor this one that much The second novella was okay, a bit The first novella revolved on a reminiscing memories but the way the plot developed was a bit plain, nothing compelling It was dreamy and melodrama, a talk and snippet of literature which I think this part wasof author s admiration towards Littr I got lost for few times reading the story, and the biography part was really draggy to the point I thought I was reading Littr instead of a novella written by Horie I don t really favor this one that much The second novella was okay, a bit strange and mellow, a recollection of memories and reconnecting whats missing The last novella probably my favorite Nostalgic and quite deep This book honestly giving you a classic vibe, the vintage way of slice of life literature Not much that I fancy anyway Lovely, deeply humane stories There s not much in the way of literary fireworks here and those looking for something innovative or showy will be disappointed although the first story does have some clever linguistic and historical surprises up its discreetly smoothed down sleeve , but these are very good examples of warm, searching, tender Japanese realism Horie is a careful guide to the thoughts and feelings of people that could be me or you or really anyone Highly recommended. A Japanese Man, Far From Home, Travels The Countryside Of Normandy With A Friend Talking About War, Literature, And Everything In Between As His Ideas Of His Life Become Entangled With His Personal Writing, The Pangs Of His Past And His Half Forgotten Memories Overlap And Threaten His PeaceOwing A Debt To French Writers From La Fontaine To Proust, The Three Fable Like Tales In The Bear And The Paving Stone Are Stories Of Loss, Memory And A Longing To Belong The Bear and the Paving Stone, by Toshiyuki Horie translated by Geraint Howells , is a collection of three stories by this award winning Japanese author The titular tale takes up the bulk of the book and tells of a visit to France where the narrator meets an old friend from his university days He has been working in Paris, translating a biography of lexicographer and philosopher mile Littr Upon finding himself with a little free time he contacts Yann, a freelance photographer, and arranges The Bear and the Paving Stone, by Toshiyuki Horie translated by Geraint Howells , is a collection of three stories by this award winning Japanese author The titular tale takes up the bulk of the book and tells of a visit to France where the narrator meets an old friend from his university days He has been working in Paris, translating a biography of lexicographer and philosopher mile Littr Upon finding himself with a little free time he contacts Yann, a freelance photographer, and arranges to meet.The story describes a vivid dream, a train journey, and the days spent with Yann who invites the narrator to stay for a few days at the place he is renting It is close to the town where the Littr family lived and also to Mont Saint Michel, a Gothic monastery which the men travel to view.As conversations with friends are wont to do there are many changes of direction The pair reminisce on how they met and on events from their past Yann is Jewish and his thoughts turn to the impact of the war on his family The narrator is disturbed by the emotions evoked by some of the photographs Yann offers him as a souvenir.When his friend must leave for a prearranged journey to Ireland the narrator stays on in Yann s house, meeting his landlady and neighbour, Catherine, and her young son He finds connections in the books he is reading, his dreams and one of the child s favoured toys.The second story in the collection, The Sandman is Coming, is set on a beach in Japan The narrator is walking with an old friend s younger sister and her child, remembering time spent together with her brother in this place The man is visiting the seaside town to mark the second anniversary of his friend s death When younger he would visit each summer and the three would construct impressive sandcastles on the beach Now the daughter is just s few years younger than her mother when they first met, althoughvivid are the narrator s memories of her when she was fifteen, her cleavage garnering several mentions.The final story, In The Old Castle, returns to France The narrator has been sent a photograph of himself taken many years ago when he visited a friend in Normandy to meet his new partner Incidents during the journey irk him He is then critical of his friend s partner s looks, focusing on how plump she is rather than the welcome she offers They visit a partially restored castle, breaking in to look around Initially excited by their daring, events soon take a darker turn.The writing is calm and restrained, covering many topics and finding overlaps as each tale progresses The imagery is strong as are the character portrayals although the style remains understated The theme of old friendships portrays the reliance on shared memory rather than where they are in their lives today.An enjoyable read with plenty to unpack and consider Another fine addition to the publisher s Japanese novella series.My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Pushkin Press

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