The Fall of Language in the Age of English

(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details
Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author
Minae Mizumura was born in Tokyo, moved to New York at the age of twelve, and studied French literature at Yale University. Acclaimed for her audacious experimentation and skillful storytelling, Mizumura has won major literary awards for all four of her novels--one of which, A True Novel, was recently published in English. She lives in Tokyo. Mari Yoshihara is professor of American studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She is the author of Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism and Musicians from a Different Shore: Asians and Asian Americans in Classical Music. Juliet Winters Carpenter studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. In 1980, Carpenter's translation of Abe Kobo's novel Secret Rendezvous (Mikkai) won the Japan-United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.
Rigorous and wide-ranging.... This book is a cracker.--Peter Gordon "Asian Review of Books "
A stirring call to consciousness about the role of language.... For English speakers, the book presents an important opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes.--Publishers Weekly
An eye-opening call to consciousness about the role of language.--Publishers Weekly Tip Sheet
Translators Juliet Winter Carpenter and Mari Yoshihara have done a superb job of rendering [the text] into clear, readable English.--Japanese Studies
This powerful, insightful work analyzes the predicament of world languages and literatures in an age when English has become the universal language of science and the default language of the internet.... Rich, profound meditation on language and literature.--Claremont Review of Books
The care with which Mizumura has crafted this book... [makes] the reading of it a pleasure, allowing for wit and personality to shine.--Full Stop
[A] highly charged book.--Eric Banks "The Chronicle Of Higher Education "
Persuasive, elegantly written.... [The Fall of Language in the Age of English] is highly deserving of attention, from English and Japanese speakers alike, as well as from anyone concerned about literature's past and future.--Rebecca Hussey "The Quarterly Conversation "
A dazzling rumination on the decline of local languages, most particularly Japanese, in a world overshadowed by English. Moving effortlessly between theory and personal reflection, Minae Mizumura's lament--linguistic and social in equal measure--is broadly informed, closely reasoned, and--in a manner that recalls her beloved Jane Austen--at once earnest and full of mischief.--John Nathan, translator of Light and Dark: A Novel by Natsume Soseki
A call to arms for everyone: for all non-native English speakers to embrace and champion literature in their own languages, and for English speakers to be that little less arrogant in their use of their mother tongue, which just happens to have become the world's universal language.--Sophie Knight "The Japan Times "
Mizumura traces how the myth of the 'national language, ' a pure upwelling of political character, coincided with the flowering of the nation-state--and, even more fascinatingly, of the novel itself.... 'Language' may be in the book's title, but Mizumura has really crafted a conservationist's plea for literature.--Katy Waldman "Slate "
There is incredibly smart stuff in here... Mizumura's ability to weave together so many strands of history (lingual, academic, economic, geopolitical) paints a clear picture of the evolution of Japanese literature, with commentary on the rest of the globe being a pleasant byproduct.--Graham Oliver "The Rumpus "
Mizumura has crafted a book that stimulates thought, excites passions, and encourages debate. For these alone, it is well worth a read.--Erik R. Lofgren "World Literature Today "
In The Fall Of Language in the Age of English, Minae Mizumura shows, better than anyone ever has, how English is wrecking other languages -- reducing even great literary languages, including Japanese and French, to local dialects -- and makes a vigorous case for the superiority of the written over the spoken word.--Benjamin Moser "New York Times Book Review "
[Mizumura's] book is a 'text to read' in the 'universal library, ' to use her terms.--Selma K. Sonntag "Journal of Asian Studies "
Skillfully translated.--Harou Shirane "Public Books "
The Fall of Language in the Age of English deserves wider coverage (and debate).--Flavorwire