October Poem by Ryuichi Tamura (田村隆一) & The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

Hello and welcome to The Young Reader’s Review! For those of you who do not know, about five months ago, I moved to the Land of the Rising Sun. To avoid getting carried away, I am going to keep it very simple by saying that it was a cultural shock. Also, considering that I have (finally) been disenthralled from any school-related constraints and that the Japanese tsuyu rainy season is upon me, it is safe to say that you might notice a slight peak in productivity on this blog (or the reviews will be (dangerously) more analytical and in depth, or I will spend the rest of the summer lying prostate on my bed eating ice cream). Anyway. Being a literary soul, one of the first things that piqued my interest in Japan was obviously literature and I couldn’t help but compare Japanese literature with the Western literature that I had known my entire life. My impressions as a foreigner of literature’s place in the Japanese society deserves an entire blog post to itself, but I will be today talkin…

How I analyze a literary text (with the example of Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death-“)

Hello and welcome to The Young Reader’s Review ! In his Limits of Interpretation (1990), Umberto Eco distinguishes “semantic interpretation” from “critical interpretation”. “Semantic interpretation” would be reading material on a linguistic level and not analyzing the text in terms of literature, in other words, being a “naïve reader”, meanwhile “critical interpretation” would be doing exactly that. It is one thing to understand a text. It is another to understand it: to dissect it to understand its intricacies in order to reveal “its hidden depths”. Umberto Eco would also say that my phrasing is maladroit, that there is no such thing as a universal “depth” to a literary text since everybody will experience interpretation differently. That is exactly what my blog is for: I not only share with you my “thoughts on a book or poem” but I share with you my interpretation. That is where resides one of the many beauties of literature: your interpretation of a text will always be unique, the…

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Hello and welcome to The Young Reader’s Review! May has arrived, already marking the fifth month of two thousand eighteen (that went by quickly). Moments ago, I was idly lying on my bed, a drowsy open book resting on my chest. The unripe pre-summer sun, crawling its way into my room, bathed it in its irradiant and warm light. Suddenly, I had the sudden realization that I hadn’t made the classic “good ‘ol book review” in months. Aghast, breaking out of mellowness’ trance, I tried to think of a beloved literary pearl that I could recommend. In this state, a sentence came to mind: Don’t panic. A small grin etched itself on my face. This quote considerably shortened my meditation for a title, a book, a world, a universe immediately came to mind. Behold, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams. Enjoy. 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I were not your typical love story: I did not blindly fall into its arms, seduced by the charm of its title, like I usually do  (…

Book vs. Movie: A Clockwork Orange

Hello and welcome to The Young Reader’s Review! So, a while back, I caught the vague whiff of a fascinating phrase: A Clockwork Orange. Was it a novel? A movie? I did not know. But this paradoxical semantic marriage of something as simple as a fruit that trivially dwells in the common dining table fruit-basket with the mechanics of a clockwork truly had something fascinating, thought-provoking and even distantly foreshadowing a certain dark humor. Months passed, and then I saw, innocently sitting in the corner of my eye on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf the phrase that had been buried in the depths of my mind: A Clockwork Orange. Drawn to it by some unknown literary force, I picked it up, not knowing that one of the darkest gems of English literature was now opening its doors, inviting me with a false smile to a gloomy and perverted world. Alas, once having finished this book, I was very far from escaping from its grip since one of the most influential minds of cinema decided to put …