資料彙整   /   作家  /  Joy  Kogawa  小川樂
Joy  Kogawa
小川樂
圖片來源:
主要文類:Novel
資料提供者:Pin-chia Feng(馮品佳);Kate Liu(劉紀雯);Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
關鍵字詞:World Literature;Canadian Literature

小川樂
1935-
Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
 

 生平簡傳

 作品風格

 
 

 生平簡傳

A. 家庭暨教育背景

小川樂於一九三五年六月六號在加拿大英屬哥倫比亞出生。原名剛一希美的小川樂,父親為一牧師,母親於幼稚園擔任教師,身為日裔加人二代,小川樂成長於二次世界大戰後一個充斥種族歧視的白人社會裡,中產階級的剛一家因為其日裔身分而倍受歧視。六歲的時候,小川樂與家人一同被加拿大政府主導的隔離政策驅離至英屬哥倫比亞東部,隨著大戰結束、決策改變,剛一一家人搬遷至阿爾伯他省的科爾戴市定居,她也在成年後在阿爾伯他大學和沙士卡社文大學繼續完成學業。

B. 寫作生涯


一九五七年,小川樂與大衛.小川結婚並育有兩名子女-喬登與黛瑞。十年後,小川樂出版第一本詩集《裂月》;隨後她繼續出版了另外兩本詩集《夢中的選擇》 (1974 年出版 ) 和《杰立可之路》( 1977 年出版)。在她創作詩、出版詩集的同時,她在安大略省的渥太華總理辦公室理當擬稿員,也許是這份工作的影響,小川開始對於政治產生興趣。一九七八年,小川與丈夫正式離婚並遷居至多倫多定居,開始專心寫作。八○年代為小川創作的全盛時期,一九八一年她完成第一部小說《歐巴桑》並且因為這本成功的小說而贏得多項大獎。在詩集《樹林中的女人》在一九八五年出版之後,《歐巴桑》的少年版本問世,名為《娜歐蜜的成長路》( 1986 年出版)並在隔年被翻譯節選成為日文版的少年讀物及學校教材。《歐巴桑》為小川打開知名度,尤其在探討日裔加拿大移民在二次世界大戰時所受到的不平等待遇的議題。一九九二年小川出版《歐巴桑》的續集《依茲卡》,儘管她承認寫第二本小說時,敘事的聲音曾經讓她覺得很困擾,《依茲卡》延續《歐巴桑》關切日裔移民在二次世界大戰時於加拿大社會裡所受的限制、歧視與迫害。在另一本小說《大雨》中,小川描寫的女主人翁背負著成長背景裡隱藏的醜聞陰影而成長、學習體會人生,讓讀者充分體會她描摹人物細緻而充滿客觀人道關懷的精神。 身為一個知名的作家與詩人,小川在二○○○年與二○○三年分別再出版兩本詩集《莉莉之歌》和《錨之園》,其中值得一提的是《莉莉之歌》在近年來被改編以不同的方式在加拿大主要城市舞台呈現。

TOP

 作品風格

A.《歐巴桑》、《娜歐蜜的成長路》以及《依茲卡》


小川樂最知名的作品《歐巴桑》事實上是根據她個人與家人經歷戰時集中營的真實經驗感受撰寫而成的血淚史。沈默是書中主人翁娜歐蜜的家人與她本身主要情緒。張敬?曾經討論瀰漫在《歐巴桑》裡的沈默氣氛,她認為「因壓迫而蘊生的沈默形成於個人與集體意識中,影響對男女皆然」( 139 頁)。 由三十六歲的教師-主人翁娜歐蜜的敘事中,可見她藉由回憶重回到過去痛苦的場景,並再次檢視史實般歷歷在目的記憶,讓她與家人、日裔同胞們有著一樣痛苦而不堪的戰時集中營以及種族壓迫回憶。

《歐巴桑》一書描寫娜歐蜜與她的弟弟在母親返鄉探親回程被加拿大拒絕入境,並在父親被迫進入集中營的情境下,被父母親受託於歐巴桑,也就是父親的姊妹。在娜歐蜜一家的悲慘情況,她從父親的姊妹歐巴桑以及母親的姊妹愛蜜莉阿姨兩極化的情緒反應和個性中學到不同的人生哲學,卻也因此而更顯得矛盾複雜的心情:對於二次大戰時日裔加拿大人被集中管理監控的傷心歷史,歐巴桑抱持著被動、冷處理而沈默的方式希望平淡地讓它過去,而愛蜜莉阿姨的態度則是主動積極的放大音量要娜歐蜜勇敢的表達自己的態度、為像是德軍納粹對待猶太人一樣的同胞們發聲,傳達受欺壓、受到不平等、不公義待遇的抗爭,並要求加拿大政府對決策錯誤而道歉。透過小川清晰的觀點分析描寫,讀者能夠清楚的發現日裔移民第一代受到傳統日本教育影響和日裔第二代的東西思想、教育等層面的衝突與矛盾,在整個歷史事件背景中,為主人翁娜歐蜜帶來莫大的衝擊,也為她的自我尋覓、自我學習發現的歷程造成絕對的影響

這部備受注目的小說隨後被編寫成青少年版本,並在一九八八年被翻譯為日文版的少年讀物,更因為其具教育性意義的特色而被小學館出版社出版《娜歐蜜的成長路》,受節選為日本青少年學校教材。 ,

《歐巴桑》出版後十年,小川延續娜歐蜜的故事,探討加拿大戰時集中處置日裔移民決策的續集《依茲卡》於是問世。對處於尷尬的東西方教育、文化衝擊的移民第一代與第二代,小川在故事中穿插政治場景與異國文化元素, 在鮮明的人物寫照之中,由堅決抗議加拿大政府不平等對待的愛蜜莉阿姨、一同成長的兄弟和主人翁隱地裡與法裔擔任神職的密友種種複雜的情愫之中,編織成一幅錯綜的背景。

儘管她的自我發現歷程或者她為日裔同胞們尋求正義的目標不變,小川的第二本小說並不如《歐巴桑》一般造成震撼和好評。在書評珍妮絲.克萊客.奇佛的眼中,《依茲卡》的文字敘述並不如《歐巴桑》一書的詩意描繪一般吸引人,而以角色的情緒轉折、個性發展與敘事的方式角度而論,《歐巴桑》也比《依茲卡》出色許多。

B. 《大雨》

小川樂充分表現其想像空間的小說 《大雨》 揭露一個處於進退兩難的女孩在發現摯愛的牧師父親可能有著虐童、戀童的癖好,她心靈受到的打擊在現實與祕密之間,對父親、對人生產生的矛盾衝突與成長挑戰,都在小川靈活的表現之中,將人性光明與黑暗面,不帶有偏頗的融入觀察並客觀的描寫刻畫入小說各個人物個性裡。

C. 詩集


接受珍妮絲.威廉遜的專訪時,小川樂透露她詩作的靈感大多來自於她的夢境。一些詩評認為小川的詩多以流暢的歌詞形式表現,另有詩評認為她的詩作充滿了超現實意象和對人性探討、對女性的關懷,也因此她被歸為女性主義人道主義作家。

TOP

 
 

Joy Kogawa
1935-
Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
 

 Biographic Sketch

 Her Works

 
 

 Biographic Sketch

A. Family Background and Education

Joy Nozomi Goichi was born to Minister Gordon Goichi and Lois Yao Nakayama, who was a kindergarten teacher, on June 6 th, 1935 in British Columbia, Canada. As a nisei, or the second generation of Japanese Canadian, Kogawa grew up in a middle-class white society in which racial discrimination prevailed especially for Canadians of Japanese descents after the World War II. Turning six, Kogawa was expatriated to eastern British Columbia in the internment with her parents, and after the family relocated in Coaldale, Alberta, she continued her education in University of Alberta and later University of Saskatchewan.

B. The Career of a Writer

In 1957, she married David Kogawa and thereafter raised two children, Gordon and Deidre. Ten years later, Kogawa published her first book of poetry, The Splintered Moon, and two volumes more: A Choice of Dream (1974) and Jericho Road (1977). While she was working on her poetry, she worked as a staff writer for the Office of the Prime Minister in Ottawa, Ontario. It was possibly then that Kogawa's interest took root in politics. After divorcing her husband in 1978, she settled down in Toronto and wrote prolifically in the Eighties, the time when she had Obasan in 1981 and won three recognitions: the Books in Canada First Novel Award for her first novel, the Canadian Authors' Association Book of the Year Award and the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award. After another collection of poetry, Woman in the Woods, made appearance in 1985, a children's version of Obasan–Naomi's Road (1986) was published and then translated into a Japanese edition–Naomi no Michi–in 1988. By then Kogawa was known for her enlightening writings with a focal issue–the unjust treatment of internment detention that kept Japanese Canadian under alternate persecution during WWII. She persisted her effort in both poetry and fiction after her first novel, and then a sequel of Obasan came out in 1992–Itsuka. Despite Kogawa's confession of having difficulty in finding narrative voice for her work, Itsuka still aroused Canadian's attention toward the victimhood of Japanese Canadian during the big war. Years later, the novel The Rain Ascends made her acknowledged for her stance as a feminist writer due to her portrait of the protagonist growing up under the shadow of a family undergoing child abuse. A noted writer and poetess she becomes, Kogawa's most recent books of poetry are Song of Lilith and A Garden of Anchors in the Millennium and 2003 respectively. The former was actually the text commissioned and adapted by Kristine Bogyo in the theater production that took place in major Canadian cities.

TOP

 Her Works

A. Obasan, ( Naomi's Road) and Itsuka


Kogawa's most received novel, Obasan, is based on her own experience of how the internment camp has taken effect on her family. Silence seems to be the major impression on Naomi's family and Naomi herself. King-Kok Cheung has pointed out the attentive silence prevailing in Obasan so much that "oppressive silence that takes both individual and collective forms, inflicted on women and men alike" (139). Through the thirty-six-year-old schoolteacher Naomi, the novel descends on the historical retrospect on how she reflects and re-examines the turmoil affliction that her family and her people, the Japanese-Canadian, have undergone during WWII.

Naomi and her brother were entrusted and raised by Obasan, her paternal aunt when her mother was kept out of the country from a homeland trip and her father was segregated in a detention camp in the wartime. Upon the tragic separation of the family, Naomi learns a dichotomy of attitudes from Obasan and Aunt Emily, her maternal aunt; for the tribulation of detainment for Japanese-Canadian, the former has taken a silent and passive stance whereas the latter urges the heroine to take a resilient position confronting the government that had made a historical mistake by besetting the immigrants and the descendents of the immigrants with the extreme measure, just like what German Nazi has done to the Jews. Kogawa's observant and vibrant depiction has made it apparent that the strong contrast between the silent and submissive attitude of the isei and the resilient and outspoken nisei is complicated so that the intriguing reminiscence has somehow become Naomi's self-searching in a way.

This acknowledged novel was later rewritten for younger readers and translated into a Japanese version that has been selected into schoolchildren's textbook. In 1988, Shogakkan Press published Naomi no Michi in Japan and soon after the publication, it was well-received and then regarded a worthy text, an ideal material for education.

More than a decade after Obasan was published, Kogawa continued Naomi's story in Itsuka with further intense deployment on the issue of Canadian mistreatment toward its people of Japanese descents. Struggling between the dual identities of being Canadian and Japanese descendents, Kogawa has interwoven scenarios of politics and exoticism through Naomi's interrelationships with her out-spoken aunt, who is by all means oppose and fight for voicing out for her people surviving the internment, with her brother and with her romantic relations with a French-Canadian priest.

Although the scenarios of self-searching and fighting for justice for her kind are quite successful, Kogawa's second novel does not earn as much attention and applause as her first. In Books in Canada, Janice Kulyk Keefer expresses her dissatisfaction toward Itsuka, finding it incomparable with Obasan, which was highly praised for its poetic language and the fervor of depiction on the emotional development of the character.

B. The Rain Ascends

Kogawa's imagination in her writing has made The Rain Ascends a novel worth reading. The novels reveals a child's psychological struggle after learning that her beloved father, a parish minister, may be a malevolent and pedophilic child abuser. Kogawa's intense and in-depth perspectives help her portrait the characters with juxtaposition of humanity and human frailty; a truthful perception and observation in mankind. That is, she manages to remain objective and disregard the binary opposition or unjust characterization throughout the novel and character depiction.

C. Her Publication of Poetry


Kogawa's imagination in her writing has made The Rain Ascends a novel worth reading. The novels reveals a child's psychological struggle after learning that her beloved father, a parish minister, may be a malevolent and pedophilic child abuser. Kogawa's intense and in-depth perspectives help her portrait the characters with juxtaposition of humanity and human frailty; a truthful perception and observation in mankind. That is, she manages to remain objective and disregard the binary opposition or unjust characterization throughout the novel and character depiction.

TOP


Reference

"Joy Nozomi Kogawa." Contemporary Authors. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004.

"Joy Kogawa." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale.

Wong, Synthia F. "Joy Kogawa." Asian American novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT : Greenwood, 2000. 161-167.

Cheung, King-Kok. Articulate Silences: Hisaye Yamamoto, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1993.
 
 
 

Copyright ©2009 國科會人文學中心 All Rights Reserved.