神様

優しい不思議。

くまに誘われて散歩に出る。
そんなとっても魅力的な一文から始まる短編集。
全部で9つの短編からなる。

どれも、ふつうの、平々凡々とした日常の中に非日常が入り込んできて、混ざって、不思議なゆらぎを持った物語になっている。
表題になっている『神様』がとっても好き。僕が高校生の時の国語の教科書にも載っていた作品。

アパートの隣の階にくまが引っ越してきて、ふたりで川辺まで散歩する。
主人公も、周りの反応も、「おーくまじゃん」程度。

まぁ他の短編でも、おじさんの幽霊が出たり、人魚が出てきたりするのだけど、やっぱり「おー出たか」って感じだ。
これが、小説の持つひとつの力だと思う。

実写も、アニメも、ちょっと無理じゃないかな。それは具体的な情景の描きにくさなんだろうけど、その原因は、僕たちがこの本を読んでてんでばらばらな想像をしているからだ。だって隣に越して来たくまとの散歩なんて、生半可な力じゃ想像できない。そこには強い想像力が必要だし、おのずとそこには【自分ー川上弘美】の世界ができていく。
だから、それを具体的な映像に落とし込もうとしても、ちょっとしんどいと思う。

まぁ、監督が【自分ー川上弘美】の世界を描く、てこともあり得るけれど。
なんてことを言いつつも、同時に、なんだか童話が似合うなぁ、とも思うんだよね。読んでて。
おぼろげで、暖かい絵が似合いそう。

そして、もう1つ川上弘美の持つ大きな魅力は、「食」の描写だ。

大根をトースターでトーストしてマーガリン塗ろうか。佃煮載せるとおいしいかもしれない。

大根が煮えてから、かつぶしの粉と味噌を溶き入れ、中に解凍したご飯を入れてから卵を落とした。ひと煮立ちさせてから火を消し、碗によそった。蓮華ですくって口に入れる。コスミスコがじいっと見いっていた。

鮭のソテーオランデーズソースかけ。なすとズッキーニのフライ。いんげんのアンチョビあえ。赤ピーマンのロースト。ニョッキ。ペンネのカリフラワーソース。いちごのバルサミコ酢かけ。ラム酒のケーキ。オープンアップルパイ。バスケットから取り出して並べながら、くまはひとつひとつの料理の名前を言っていった。

と、書き出してみたら、思ったよりも、地味だ。

川上弘美の文章と言えば食の描写、と強く印象づけられていたのだけど、いたってシンプルな表現だなぁ。でも、正直これだけでも自分にはすごく魅力的な文章に映る。
これが物語の中に入って、前後の文章、そして全体と混ざってくっつくと、もっと僕らの心を引きつける文に見えるんだろう。
ただ、川上弘美が食を意識的に扱っているのは間違いない。

それと、この書評を書きながらふと思ったのだけれど、「ひらがな」の扱われ方も川上弘美の特徴の1つかも知れない。
と、言うか、ひらがなが似合う。

上で引用した『ひとつひとつ』もそうだけれど、彼女の作品のいたるところでひらがなが多様されている。もちろんこの、『神様』でも。

表題の神様に出てくるくまは、「熊」ではなく、「くま」だ。
作品の終わりに「熊の神様」のという言葉が出てくる。
まぁここで、作中に出てくる「くま」と、実際の、純粋な動物としての「熊」との隔たりを
表しているのかなぁ、てことを思うことができる。

でも、単純に、僕は『神様』に出てくるくまは、「くま」が似合うと思う。「熊」ではなく。
ひらがなで表現されることによって、彼の丸み、てのが素直に出てるんじゃないかなぁ、と。

高校生の時の自分に、こういう本もあるんだ、こういう本があってもいいんだ、とほんわりした衝撃を与えてくれた大事な本。
川上弘美の作品の中には、毒気というか、アクが強い作品も多いのだけれど、これは読みやすさから言っても是非おすすめしたい本です。

こんなくまと友達になりたいなぁ。

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