『だれも買わない本は、だれかが買わなきゃならないんだ』—あなたに読まれるのを待っている

「読むべき本」じゃなくて、
「読みたい本」だけを全力で追いつづけること。
それが世間的にどんな恥ずかしい本であっても、
ほかの本で隠してレジに持っていったりしないこと。
満員電車の中でも、堂々と開いて読むこと。
紀伊国屋のカバーなんか、かけないこと!
そういう読書人に、僕はなりたい。


無名の人々、日の目を浴びることのない芸術、忘れ去られたモノ。
そんな社会の遺失物をすくい上げて来た都築響一がつづる、書評集。

ここでも、「批評するための書評」というより、表に出にくい本たちを、「浮かび上がらせるための書評」といった感じ。
知らない本が多く、またそのどれもが、食中植物のように甘い匂いで僕らを誘います。

本屋に出会う
本に出会う
人に出会う
イメージに出会う

の4章での構成ですが、基本的に「本」にスポットが当たっている内容になっています。

気になった本をリストアップしていたら、膨大になってしまいました。
その中でも特別気になっているものを、いくつかご紹介します。

サラエボ包囲線の最中に執筆された、戦場生活ガイドブック。
カタツムリの料理方法を載せた戦争料理ブックというセクションがあったり、危険地域の交差点では走らざるを得ないことから、ランニングはサラエボ市民に最も愛好されているスポーツだ、なんて書かれている。

これは

(本書)は現在の記録であり、サバイバルのためのガイドであるが、同時にサラエボを戦火の犠牲値としてではなく、機知によって恐怖を克服するための実験場として伝える、未来に残る記録でもある

という執筆者たちの意図によって作られています。

そして文化。極限状況の中、壊れた建物の部屋を使って展覧会を開くアーティストたちや、演劇、カフェ、夜のディスコ・クラブ・新聞や雑誌まで、文化にかかわるすべての活動を、なんとか意地していこうと力を尽くす人々。これには頭が下がると言うしかない。新聞なんて、汽車が原稿を書いて、自分で街角に立って売るのだ!

右翼、暴走族、チーマー、ポン引き、浮浪者。
ようはチンピラと呼ばれる方々をカメラに収めた写真集。

シャッターを切ったあとには飛びかかられていたんじゃないか。
そんな不安を想起させるような、表面張力ぎりぎりで収まっている獰猛さを切り取っています。

おそろく、2種類のポートレートがあるのだろう。それがだれなのか、どんな人物であるのかを画像で説明しようとする写真。そういう「名詞」としてのポートレートがあるいっぽうで、動こうとするチカラのかたちを直にキャッチしようとするポートレートもありうる。吉永マサユキが撮り続けているのは、そういう「動詞」のポートレートなのだ。

これ、最高にツボにはまってしまった一冊です。
都築さんの邦訳を借りると、

冷蔵庫といっしょにアイルランドぐるり旅

になります。

まったくもって、そのままの内容です。
冷蔵庫を担いで、アイルランドをヒッチハイクで一周した変人の旅の記録です。
酔いで書いてしまった、冷蔵庫と一緒にアイルランドを回るという誓約書。
破ればいいものを、「こんな馬鹿げたこと、やったらおもしろいじゃないか!」と言わんばかりに実行しちゃいます。

彼のやっていることは、とてもバカげています。
でも、「なんだあいつ」と対岸から見下すよりも、「おもしろいじゃないか!」と肩を組みにいけるようになりたいな、とそんなことを感じました。
そして、じゃあ今度は俺が、とバカげたことに加わることができるようになったら、実にハッピーですね。

オトナたちは、いまの子供は昔にくらべて分別が足りないとか、我慢が足りないとか、いろんなことを言う。でも昔よりはずっとおとなしい、あるいは「おとなしくさせられている」子供だって、ずいぶん多い。分別だけは一人前の、そういう若年寄たいを眺めるたびに、僕は哀しくなる。分別じゃなくて、無分別を教えてあげられるオトナでいたいと、痛切に思う。

もっともっと心に刺さった本はあるんですが、引用はここまでに。

この本、実に面白いんですが、ちょっとした欠点というか、難点が。

それは、書評が面白いこと。

なるほど、なるほど、とうまい具合に本が紹介されていき、本のみに目を向けるのでなく、社会の中でのその本の位置づけ、なんてものも絡めながら話が進みます。
そして最後は、きれいに整って終わります。小説のように。

まるで、映画の予告のようなんです。

映画の予告って、おもしろいですよね。
で、なんだかそれに満足してしまって、肝心の本編を見ないことがままあります。
見よう見ようとはどこか片隅で思っているんですが、気がついたら終わっている。

書評自体が面白く、完成されてしまっているため、それに満腹になってしまいそうです。
気になった本があったら、すかさずリストアップしておくことをオススメします。

それと、本の題が、「誰も読まない〜」ではなく、「誰も買わない〜」になっていることが、なんだか本や、その本を作った人たちへの誠意のように、僕は思えました。

本は買われなければ、絶えてしまいます。
また、何より、買うという行為は、自分の身銭を切るということです。

自分の身を削り、読む。
それって、実は読者から作者への、小さく真摯な行為なのかも知れない。
そんなことを、思わされました。

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