Blue flower pattern on white cover


Eigoteki Shiko wo Yomu (English Text Reader II: Reading How They Think in English)


ABE Masahiko


216 pages, 127x188mm, softcover




May 30, 2014



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Eigoteki Shiko wo Yomu

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This book is the second in the English Text Reader series previously published by Kenkyusha. Although parts of it address novels, by also including other kinds of prose, the book provides hints about the intellectual work that is required when reading in English. Through this process, the book also sheds light on the narrative approaches, ways of thinking, and methods of organizing the world unique to the English language.
The book is not an exhaustive account: one cannot learn everything there is to know about English way of thinking from this single volume. However, I have tried to focus on a number of important aspects to enjoy English and its background culture. These aspects are “innocence,” “satire,” “technical skill,” “heroes,” “criticism,” “argument,” and “god.” Each chapter explores possibilities for reading by paying close attention to the details of the selected passages.
Reading involves more than simply “decoding” a text. Although various meanings arise when we unwrap and disentangle, organize and understand a text, it is sometimes necessary to step back and wait. In other words, sometimes we must give up or be in blank amazement. When reading a text, there are places where we must pin our opponent to the ground with our uncompromising initiative, but there are also places where we must fit in with our opponent. Vow to lose. Stop without understanding. I have tried putting these ideas into practice in various ways.
It is fine to begin reading the book from any point. Why not take a glance at the chapter that most interests you? Yet, if possible, examine the copies of the original works. Again, if possible, also closely investigate the original English versions. To support this, at the end of each chapter, I have included a section called “English Sayings Reader.” With a more casual approach than the main chapters, these sections focus on little sayings that might help you be interested in the culture behind the English language.
Works that may look easy can also pose considerable challenges. The Book of Job is a rather difficult text. However, the purpose of this series centers on the message that “reading” is a challenge. It is a challenge, an ambition, a scheme and a desire. At the same time, it is also enjoyable. At times, it may even be boring. However, even in that boredom lurks something to be gained. Deep, don’t you think?

(Written by ABE Masahiko, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology / 2017)

Related Info

Masahiko Abe website

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