A Book Club for "The Left Hand of Darkness" Part 4 初めての読書会4

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Jul 30, 2018 23:09 thelefthandofdarkness bookclub
At the book club on Sunday, I was the worst English speaker. There were two other Japanese participants, but they spoke better than me.
It's funny, but if you meet a bad English speaker in Japan, you may suppose that the person is an English teacher. I am sometimes asked if I am teaching English, but it never pleases me. If my English was truly good, you would never think that I am teaching English at school. On that day too, I was asked that question.
At first, I was trying to follow the "native speed" of English. But soon, I noticed that the participants were speaking faster, more eloquently than the other people who don't read many books, because of their big vocabularies. It's the same in any languages. Book lovers always have many things to tell about books.
I wanted to say something, but the topics changed frequently. Suddenly, one of the participants, who had gentle black eyes and black hair, asked me what part of the book I liked the most. I was surprised when she called my name correctly. because there were already 15 or 16 people stuffed in a small room. I only said something to introduce myself at the beginning of the meeting. I was grateful for her help and decided in my mind that I would ask her name again and make friends with her!
I answered, but when speaking, my English is worse than in writing. I said something like this:
"When I first read this book, I was eleven or twelve. I was just about to experience my adolescence. I already felt that I was imposed a role of women. I hated that. I was aware that my friends at school evaluated each other by their appearance. I knew boys judged me only by my face or my skinny figure. I was struggling, and then, I encountered this book. I love that part the most, Colly, you cited, "When you meet a Gethenian you cannot and must not do what a bisexual naturally does, which is to cast him in the role of Man or Woman, while adopting towards him a corresponding role dependent on your expectations of the patterned or possible interactions between person of the same or the opposite sex.". I repeatedly read that phrase--in Japanese, sorry. And one more, I like of this book is "it was from the difference between us, not from the affinities and likenesses, but from the difference, that that love came: and it was itself the bridge, the only bridge, across what divided us". When I was little, I didn't understand this part. I was wondering why you can love someone very different from yourself. Now I understand. Thank you for listening to me!"
The other participants were kind and patient enough to listen to my clumsy English. Native speakers could say this in a couple of seconds. But I wasn't able to speak so fast. No one rushed me. When we took a tea break, I said thank you to the woman who passed me the baton and asked her name.