Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age by Kenzaburo Oe
A Novel

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Synopsis

Wise and illuminating, Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! is a masterpiece from one of the world's finest writers, Kenzaburo Oe -- winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. K is a famous writer living in Tokyo with his wife and three children, one of whom is mentally disabled. K's wife confronts him with the information that this child, Eeyore, has been doing disturbing things -- behaving aggressively, asserting that he's dead, even brandishing a knife at his mother -- and K, given to retreating from reality into abstraction, looks for answers in his lifelong love of William Blake's poetry. As K struggles to understand his family and assess his responsibilities within it, he must also reevaluate himself -- his relationship with his own father, the political stances he has taken, the duty of artists and writers in society. A remarkable portrait of the inexpressible bond between this father and his damaged son, Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! is the work of an unparalleled writer at his sparkling best.
 

About Kenzaburo Oe

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Kenzaburo Oe was born in 1935 in Ose, a mountain village on Japanrsquo;s Shikoku Island. He graduated in French literature from Tokyo University and became a full-time writer in 1959. He has won many international literary honors, including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the Nobel Prize for Literature.
 
Published March 22, 2003 by Grove Press. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age

Kirkus Reviews

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and, most intriguingly, Eeyore’s inexplicable musical gift (Oe’s son is, against enormous odds, a successful composer), one of whose by-products is a highly praised collaboration between father and son.

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The Guardian

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(It's a shame, though, that he and his translator think that 'Lord Keynes' refers to the Geoffrey who famously edited Blake, rather than his brother John Maynard.) Oe himself has a disabled son and has already written a book based on his situation ( A Personal Matter ).

Aug 04 2002 | Read Full Review of Rouse Up, O Young Men of the ...

The Guardian

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As Eeyore discards his childhood nickname, the narrator feels himself reborn through both his adult sons, "young men of a new age, a baleful, atomic age", which both are equipped to combat.

Aug 24 2002 | Read Full Review of Rouse Up, O Young Men of the ...

Publishers Weekly

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K's overall family life is left largely untouched until the end, with the author choosing instead to allude to his son's experiences through references to Blake's works, which become the subtext as Eeyore finally begins to compose and perform music and then to claim his real name and identity.

Jan 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Rouse Up, O Young Men of the ...

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