Back To Life

Back To Reality

2021/10/01 English

I went to the library and borrowed Jumpa Lahiri's book of essays, "In Other Words". This writer is famous for her short story "Interpreter of Maladies" in Japan but I have never read it because of my idleness. This "In Other Words" is the record of her learning Italian, not English to create her own stories. I am also learning English and can get many things from her attitude of learning. I have to follow her and also notice our sense's difference.

Why does she write in Italian? It's because she adores Roma or she respects Italian authors like Umberto Saba and Ungaretti? I can't see the reason why clearly. But I can feel her love for the language Italian. Do I love English as she loves Italian? She loves, therefore she stays modest. She accepts the fact she can't "master" Italian completely and affirm the imperfection. Eternally unfinished work... the process like Sisyphus does is equal to her activity of learning and writing.

I use English, but I don't think that I can speak and write fluently. I'm not good at speaking and writing fluently even I use my mother tongue, Japanese. But not controlling the words by my head but letting my body speak is good I think. Letting the language which is in my body out... that's enough I think. This "physical" mystery is the mystery of language. Facing language is just facing myself, chasing the mystery in myself. I think it might be the same for Jhumpa Lahiri.

Jhumpa Lahiri's attitude might be the same as Yoko Tawada's. Tawada is also the writer who is separated by two languages and doesn't choose the one. I can't see Jhumpa Lahiri stays in Italian and does her creation, or she will try to write in two languages as an experiment. I should read her creation to speak more. I sometimes try to create in English but I can't follow this attitude because she is so honest and serious.