I am left not quite sure on what to think about The Christ of Nan-king. It certainly isn't a story about Christianity, as the main character seems to not actually understand the religion, and I don't think there is much going on with the story otherwise. It is somewhat interesting to see the Kinka because she is so naïve, even though she is a prostitute. I don't understand how she could think she could continue being a prostitute without being able to sleep with her customers. There was on part that I found particularly interesting and that was the dream where Christ comes and visits her. She doesn't seem to interested that Christ has come to her but rather that the food will heal her. I actually laughed when Christ said he hates Chinese food. Still the fact that she thinks that this foreigner looks like Christ makes me wonder if he did actually look like Him or if she just thinks that any foreigner with a beard looks like Christ. All in all this seems like a story that I would read for school but I would never read for myself even if it was in English. I have read a lot of stories like this in school and I just find them boring. I do like to read but I don't find literature like this very interesting. Reading this was a big challenge for me. I have been studying Japanese for five years and I have even read this story before about a year ago. I have read other stories before in Japanese but this one seemed particularly difficult. There were a few reasons why.1. There wasn't very much dialog. Parts where people are talking are so much easier to understand then descriptive sentences. I think reading in any language is more difficult then normal conversations. Dialog also helps re-explain what is happening, so having only a few made it very easy to get lost.2. There was a lot of Chinese things in the story. Obviously that is sort of the point of setting the story in China is that you can have unfamiliar places and objects, but it made it much more difficult to imagine the setting and would be a stumbling block.3. There was some weird Japanese in this story. The story was written 90 years ago, and Japanese has changed a lot. I don't think there was a single 外来語 in the entire story. For example the author used 接吻 instead of キッス or チュウ. I have never heard of seppun and I probably will never see it in anything modern I might read. A lot of sentences also started with が instead of the previous sentence ending with it.4. It was sometimes difficult to understand who is talking. I was particularly stuck on the last section where the traveler is talking to Kinka. I thought that on line 226 and 227 Kinka was talking because the traveler had just finished talking, and no matter how I looked at it, it didn't make sense for her to be saying that. 5. It was difficult to picture in my mind what was going on. Because there were so many words to look up I constantly had to check the dictionary. Even with the automatic word search on the website and rikaichan, it breaks up the flow of the sentence and I would often have to re-read it in order to properly understand it. I think reading stories in Japanese that are as old as this one are is very difficult. Possibly too difficult for most learners. It is important of course to try challenging things but I feel like for my personal study I am going to focus on reading books that are written recently for now.
Overall, I didn't really enjoy this story. It was hard to follow with how Akutagawa wrote the same the descriptions over and over again, along with all the vocabulary that I could not seem to remember and had to look up over and over. After reading the first 2 pages in the book, I had to find a copy of the story online and read it from there (http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000879/files/105_15146.html) looking back at the book to read the easier grammar and less archaic words, and using an mouse over dictionary program (Rikai-Chan for FireFox). Even still doing that, the story hardly kept my attention. It was so much work, that I would quickly loose interest and start doing something else and taking a lot of breaks. Reading this story took me around three days to finish, when usually I read short stories for class in one sitting. Story wise, I thought that it was humorous, but still not quite that enjoyable. Every so often, the ridiculousness of what is going on was funny, and I hope that Akutagawa was writing it on being that way. I doubt that anyone, especially in our generation, could take a story like this too seriously.I remember reading 蜘蛛の糸 in class, and although I found it challenging at that time as well, I found it easier to follow and enjoy than this one. I'm not quite sure why, because they are both semi-religious and have a "moral" in them. Maybe reading it on my own made it more difficult.
@ベンさん１～５までの分析はとても面白いです。ありがとう。読むときに、どんなことがstumbling blockになっているか、よく分かります。とても参考になりますよ。ありがとうございます。次に、ちょっと質問を書きますね。Ｑ１）学校で読まされたつまらない作品というのは、どんな文学作品ですか？それは英語で読みましたか？それとも、日本語で？Ｑ２）ベンさんが日本語で読みたい！！と思う小説って、どんな小説でしょうか？何か過去に読んだものの中で「これはよかった」と思った作品がありますか？あるいは、悲しい話が好きか、楽しい話が好きか、冒険がある方がいいか、現実的な話がいいか、空想世界の話がいいか、など、どんな小説が好きでしょうか？Ｑ３）「金花のナイーブさ」は本当に「え？」とあきれるほどですよね。「ナイーブ・フール」naive foolというのでしょうか？子供のままの心を持っている人・・・こんな人が主人公になっている小説や映画を他に知りませんか？
＠コートさんいつも面白くて鋭いコメントをくれますね～。質問ですが、http://basil.is.konan-u.ac.jp/tutor/bunko/kirisuto/nankin_text.html読むときに、このwebsiteを使いましたか？このwebsiteをInternet Explorerで見ると、mouse on でtool tipで意味が出てくるようになっているのですが。使いにくいでしょうか？Internet Explorer をいつも使っていないと、使いにくいでしょうか？
I didn't know about that website and I use firefox. I'm not sure if that would work on a Mac either. It seems like that is the same as Rikai-chan on firefox though.