Een tijdelijke vertelling

Ik lees momenteel Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being uit 2013. De roman stond vorig jaar op de shortlist van The Man Booker Prize. Niet dat ik ‘m daarom lees – nee, een goede vriendin raadde ‘m aan. (Die het misschien wel om die reden las, dat zou best kunnen.) Hoe dan ook, deze ‘tijdelijke vertelling’ is erg mooi en hieronder lees je een leuk fragment uit het boek.

a tale

Most of my classmates went to a cram school in order to get ready for the high school entrance exams that you take in the second half of ninth grade. Basically, if you’re a Japanese kid, these exams decide your whole future, and the rest of your life, and even your afterlife. What I mean is:
where you go to high school decides
where you’ll go to university,
which decides what company you’ll
work for,
which decides how much money you’ll
make,
which decides who you’ll marry,
which decides what kind of kids you’ll
have and how you’ll raise them,
and where you’ll live and where you’ll
die,
and whether your kids will have
enough money to give you a classy
funeral with high-quality Buddhist
priests to perform the proper funeral
rites to ensure that you make it into
the Pure Land,
and if not, whether you’ll become a
hungry vengeful ghost, fated to haunt
the living on account of all your
unsatisfied desires,
which all started because you flunked
your entrance exams and didn’t get
into a good high school.

So you can see why, if you care about
your life, cram school is pretty important.

uit: Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (2013)