香山リカのココロの万華鏡:やらざるをえないもの /東京

July 26, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the heart: Things that we feel compelled to do
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:やらざるをえないもの /東京

The Akutagawa Prize, which is awarded twice yearly, is an extremely prestigious honor among writers. The winners of the most recent competition -- the 153rd in its history -- were "Scrap and Build" by Keisuke Hada, and "Hibana" by Naoki Matayoshi.
 小説家にとってはあこがれの賞、芥川賞。選考は年に2回だが、第153回となる今回は羽田圭介さんの「スクラップ・アンド・ビルド」、そして又吉直樹さんの「火花」が選ばれた。

Matayoshi is one-half of the comedy duo "Peace," and he may often be seen on television. The main character in his novel is similarly a comedian, who undertakes a quest to advance to a full-fledged master of humor under a comedy mentor.
 又吉さんは、テレビでもよく見かけるお笑い芸人コンビ「ピース」のひとりだ。受賞作の主人公もやはり芸人。

The novel portrays the dedication with which the performer strives to become a star -- efforts that are so extreme, in fact, that what begins as a light story gradually becomes quite intense for the reader.
先輩格を師匠とあおぎ、人気者を目指して必死にがんばるその心もようが描かれ、楽しく読んでいるうちに主人公らのあまりの真剣さにだんだん息が苦しくなってくるような作品だ。

Author Amy Yamada, an Akutagawa Prize judge, spoke on behalf of the selection committee during a press conference -- and I found her description of Matayoshi's novel striking. "The work seems to be portraying a poignant story that the author felt compelled to tell," she commented. "While the novel does have its faults, it left me with an overall feeling that was quite strong."
 選考委員を代表して作家の山田詠美さんが記者会見で話をした。又吉さんの作品を講評しての言葉がとても印象的だった。「どうしても書かざるをえない切実なものが迫ってくる感じで、欠点も多々あるんですけど、何か強いものを感じて」

This phrase "felt compelled to..." is one that I had not heard for a very long time -- and it represents a feeling that I had long forgotten.
 「どうしてもやらざるをえない」。私は、その言葉を久しぶりに聞いた気がした。最近はそんな気持ちをすっかり忘れていた。

I leave every morning for the university or for my office, where I then give lectures or see patients. When deadlines approach, I write my columns. Although I do attempt to give my best efforts for such pursuits, I find myself feeling very relieved on my days off. And on some days, I find myself thinking, "Truthfully, I would just rather not go in to work today."
朝、時間が来れば病院や大学に出かけ、診察や授業をする。締め切りが来ると原稿を書く。もちろんどれもそれなりに真剣にやっているつもりだが、休みの日が来るとほっとする。「今日は正直言って仕事に行きたくない」と思う日もある。

In other words, the phrase "compelled to..." represents a strong feeling from which I have become alienated. Without realizing it, I suppose that I have taken on the attitude of simply doing things "because it is my job."
「どうしてもやらざるをえない」といった強い思いからは、ずいぶん遠ざかってしまっていた。知らないうちに、どこか「仕事だから」と割り切ってこなしていたのかもしれない。

As for my young students at university, they are involved with their studies, club activities, and part-time jobs. While I am sure that these are all activities they enjoy doing, it is my guess that they rarely feel so strongly about something that they are "compelled" to do it.
 大学で出会う若い学生たちは、どうなのだろう。勉強、部活、アルバイトに遊び。どれもやりたいからやっているのだろうが、「どうしてもやらざるをえない」とまで感じることは少ないのではないか。

When handing in reports, my students sometimes include their own opinions, prefaced with something like this: "I know this is not directly related to the subject at hand, but I really felt like I had to write it." It is precisely this type of feeling that I hope these students will continue to cultivate.
たまにリポートに「課題とは直接、関係ないけれど、これだけはどうしても言っておきたくて」と自分の意見を書いてくる学生もいるが、そういう気持ちを大切にしてもらいたい、と思う。

Matayoshi works as a comedian, but he additionally penned a novel because he "felt compelled" to do so -- even though it might have been more beneficial for him as a performer to have spent that time appearing on television or doing comedy shows. In order to engage in this novel-writing endeavor, I'm sure that he must have also gained the understanding of his comedy partner and others around him.
 又吉さんはお笑い芸人として活躍しているが、それでも「どうしても書かざるをえない」という気持ちに動かされるようにして小説を書いた。もしかするとそんな時間があったらテレビに出たりお笑いライブをしたりしたほうが芸人としてはプラスかもしれないが、コンビの相方や周囲の人たちも理解してくれたのだろう。

I would love to once again engage in something because I felt compelled to do so -- even if it meant pushing myself beyond my own limits in the process. And it is none other than Matayoshi's work that has inspired me with this feeling.
私ももう一度、「これだけはやらざるをえないんです」と無理してでも何かをやってみたい。そんな気持ちにさせてくれた又吉さんの受賞だった。(精神科医)

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年07月22日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2015-07-27 11:43 | 英字新聞

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