Thursday, August 08, 2013

"All the words of my mouth are in righteousness" - Different Stories for Different Peoples

Seashore on the Pacific Ocean around Tokyo (where an M7.9 earthquake occurred in 1923 taking on 100,000 lives)

Different Stories for Different Peoples

Japanese readers love The Tragedy of Y (1932) the most among various works by Ellery Queen.  But Americans love Calamity Town (1942) the most.

Ellery Queen said when he visited Japan in 1977 that he could not see why Japanese fans liked The Tragedy of Y so much.  But I can explain why.

First of all Japanese are very sensible of sadness of handicapped people and innocence of children.  They are also very interested in the internal affairs of very rich families, especially of very rich American families.  And the Japanese are also keen in ethical issues partly due to an influence of Buddhism.  They will be surprised to read that murdering a child can be justified in a very special case.  The Tragedy of Y includes all these elements.

But Calamity Town is a very romantic or passionate novel, though so fraught with danger of losing human integrity.   Strength of love is a hidden main theme in this story whose stage was set in a very American local town.  And personalities of focal sisters, which are very American, are also the highlight of Calamity Town.

Accordingly Japanese readers love The Tragedy of Y more than Calamity Town while Americans love Calamity Town above all the works by Ellery Queen.

Of course I intensely read The Tragedy of Y but carefully Calamity Town, since I am Japanese.

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Pro 8:7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
Pro 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
Pro 8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.