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The Fall of Language in the Age of English by [Mizumura, Minae]
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The Fall of Language in the Age of English Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 238 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


The Fall of Language in the Age of English provocatively participates in current debates on world literature, translation, reading, and writing in the age of global English and the Internet, bringing forward a new and illuminating perspective on the translingual formation of national languages and the now endangered arc of modern literature. It is written from the viewpoint of a noted Japanese novelist as well as from a wider theoretical and historical perspective. (Tomi Suzuki, Columbia University)

A dazzling rumination on the decline of local languages, most particularly Japanese, in a world overshadowed by English. Moving effortlessly between theory and personal reflection, Minae Mizumura's lament―linguistic and social in equal measure―is broadly informed, closely reasoned, and―in a manner that recalls her beloved Jane Austen―at once earnest and full of mischief. (John Nathan, translator of Light and Dark: A Novel by Natsume Soseki)

A stirring call to consciousness about the role of language.... For English speakers, the book presents an important opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes. (Publishers Weekly)

The Fall of Language in the Age of English is―or at least can be―valuable to any literature-interested reader. Certainly, it is an interesting personal introduction to aspects of Japanese writing, and its transitions across recent centuries, as Japan's own position internationally has shifted. (M. A. Orthofer The Complete Review)

A call to arms for everyone: for all non-native English speakers to embrace and champion literature in their own languages, and for English speakers to be that little less arrogant in their use of their mother tongue, which just happens to have become the world's universal language. (Sophie Knight The Japan Times)

Mizumura traces how the myth of the 'national language,' a pure upwelling of political character, coincided with the flowering of the nation-state―and, even more fascinatingly, of the novel itself.... 'Language' may be in the book's title, but Mizumura has really crafted a conservationist's plea for literature. (Katy Waldman Slate)

Rigorous and wide-ranging.... This book is a cracker. (Peter Gordon Asian Review of Books)

An eye-opening call to consciousness about the role of language. (Publishers Weekly Tip Sheet)

There is incredibly smart stuff in here... Mizumura's ability to weave together so many strands of history (lingual, academic, economic, geopolitical) paints a clear picture of the evolution of Japanese literature, with commentary on the rest of the globe being a pleasant byproduct. (Graham Oliver The Rumpus)

[A] highly charged book. (Eric Banks The Chronicle Of Higher Education)

Persuasive, elegantly written.... [The Fall of Language in the Age of English] is highly deserving of attention, from English and Japanese speakers alike, as well as from anyone concerned about literature's past and future. (Rebecca Hussey The Quarterly Conversation)

The Fall of Language in the Age of English deserves wider coverage (and debate). (Flavorwire)

Mizumura has crafted a book that stimulates thought, excites passions, and encourages debate. For these alone, it is well worth a read. (Erik R. Lofgren World Literature Today)

Translators Juliet Winter Carpenter and Mari Yoshihara have done a superb job of rendering [the text] into clear, readable English. (Japanese Studies)

This powerful, insightful work analyzes the predicament of world languages and literatures in an age when English has become the universal language of science and the default language of the internet.... Rich, profound meditation on language and literature. (Claremont Review of Books)

In The Fall Of Language in the Age of English, Minae Mizumura shows, better than anyone ever has, how English is wrecking other languages ― reducing even great literary languages, including Japanese and French, to local dialects ― and makes a vigorous case for the superiority of the written over the spoken word. (Benjamin Moser New York Times Book Review)

[Mizumura's] book is a 'text to read' in the 'universal library,' to use her terms. (Selma K. Sonntag Journal of Asian Studies)

Skillfully translated. (Harou Shirane Public Books)

The care with which Mizumura has crafted this book... [makes] the reading of it a pleasure, allowing for wit and personality to shine. (Full Stop)

The best book I had ever read about translation and international literature―and the best illustration I had ever seen of how English corrodes even the great literary languages, including French and Japanese. (Benjamin Moser Literary Hub)

Book Description

The Fall of Language in the Age of English lays bare the struggle to retain the brilliance of one's own language in this period of English-language dominance. Minae Mizumura acknowledges the value of a universal language, yet embraces the different ways of understanding offered by multiple tongues, incorporating her own experiences as a writer and a lover of language, and embedding a parallel history of Japanese.

Product details

  • File Size: 8512 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (January 6, 2015)
  • Publication Date: January 6, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00R3KLG0S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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on December 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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on February 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
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on April 16, 2017
Format: Paperback
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