Friday, December 21, 2007

Notes on Murakami's "Underground"

Just in from Mabel Callahan:
I'd like to recommend to everyone Murakami Haruki's work of non-fiction, Underground (『アンダーグラウンド』 & 『約束された場所』 in the original), which I think ranks as one of his best works to date. I was never really a fan of his until I read this, and now I'm rereading his earlier fictional works with the understanding that they share with Underground the same central concerns -- namely, the search for lost narratives and the excavation of spaces inhabited by those left-behind, out-of-place, and marginalized by the well-oiled and monolithic "system" that is modern Japan.

I must confess, however, that I have my doubts about just how "monolithic" this system is. Is Japan today as a society any more prone to conformity than, say, America is? Does the Japanese individual hand over his own capacity for a subjective narrative more frequently and with less compunction than we Americans do? Is there really only one script available -- the script of risshin shusse 立身出世 -- and do those who choose not to read from this pre-written script really get banished to the fringes? That seems to be what Murakami is implying in many of his works and particularly in Underground, and I get the feeling that much of his popularity outside of Japan is due to the fact that he again and again presents us with this straight-jacket image of Japan that much of the world expects to see.

Also, his tendency toward sentimentality, which flares up like an atopic rash from time to time, can be a little nerve-wracking. He lays it on especially thick in Tokyo kitanshu 『東京奇譚集』, which otherwise is an enjoyable collection of bizarre stories involving disappearing acts, volunteer detectives, and talking monkeys. But more on this (and on Underground and its subject -- the Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway) later.

That is all for today. Thank you for your patience.

-Mabel Callahan

Sunday, December 16, 2007












Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Crisis Will Be Very Soon

Here is an audio recording of John Ashbery (1927- ) reading one of his best poems, "How Much Longer Will I be Able To Inhabit the Divine Sepulchre." Initially, I posted the entire text of the poem here, but after getting a letter from Google last week reminding me of copyright infringement laws, I thought it would be best to post the first three stanzas along with the final two. For more of Ashbery's recorded readings,click here.

How much longer will I be able to inhabit the divine sepulchre
Of life, my great love? Do dolphins plunge bottomward
To find the light? Or is it rock
That is searched? Unrelentingly? Huh. And if some day

Men with orange shovels come to break open the rock
Which encases me, what about the light that comes in then?
What about the smell of the light?
What about the moss?

In pilgrim times he wounded me
Since then I only lie
My bed of light is a furnace choking me
With hell (and sometimes I hear salt water dripping).


Who are you, anyway?
And it is the color of sand,
The darkness, as it sifts through your hand
Because what does anything mean,

The ivy and the sand? That boat
Pulled up on the shore? Am I wonder,
Strategically, and in the light
Of the long sepulchre that hid death and hides me?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Edo Meisho Zue - Illustrated Guide to Famous Places of Edo

Here's a little something I found today -- a walk-through of scenes in Edo Meisho Zue 江戸名所図会 with scans of the original work, accompanied by photos of the same places today. The illustrations in the link are by the famed illustrator Hasegawa Settan 長谷川雪旦 (1778-1843). An brief description of the Edo Meisho Zue can be read here (in Japanese).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What To Fear Most: A McCain Presidency

This just in from Grady Glenn:
Just because a guy's your neighbor and an old friend of the family doesn't me you have to support his bid for the presidency. Today I address in my oped column what all good progressives and non-interventionists should fear most: a McCain presidency.

(The following article was first posted here.)

I recently had the unpleasant experience of reading this article penned by Senators Liebermann and McCain about General Patraeus's "slow victory plan" and the need to stay the course in Iraq.

In a weird sort of way, their argument is quite convincing, and the McCain-Lieberman strategy is perhaps the only viable one if you're goals are the following: to maintain American hegemony over the Arabian peninsula indefinitely, and, eventually, to spread the war into Iran (something neocons McCain and Lieberman, backed by the Israeli lobby, are strongly pushing for).

If these are the goals, then indeed it would make little sense to begin withdrawing troops now.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to make America safe and to prevent further acts of terrorism, then the McCain-Lieberman strategy of a surge in troop numbers and an expansion of conflict is entirely counterproductive.

What progressives and non-interventionist conservatives should now fear most is a McCain presidency, which – now that he has almost total mainstream media sponsorship – is looking more and more inevitable each day.

Just look at the names on his foreign policy staff, which includes a long list of advisors associated with the American Enterprise Institute, including William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Eliot Cohen and other radicals who have been advocating for the last several decades the recolonization of the Middle East.

Also worrying is McCain’s inclusion of Henry Kissinger, who has done this country (and much of the world) only harm for the last 40 years.

And the fact that he is considering for his running mate Senator Lieberman – one of the staunches supporters of an immediate attack on Iran — should scare us even more.

With a Vice President and a foreign policy staff like this, it's hard to imagine my old pal McCain exercising any restraint in issues of war and intervention.

Unlike Ron Paul, McCain has no significant public following to bolster his campaign. But he does seem to have garnered the support of late from the mainstream media — and lucky for him, it is they who have the first and final say in who will reign as the next President of the United States.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grady's Letter to Senator McCain

Just in from Grady Glenn:
A friend of mine who is working for the 2008 John McCain Presidential Campaign told me that he'd personally deliver to the Senator any message, so long as it was polite and under 300 words. So here's what I sent. Barring some sort of late-life epiphany or divine intervention, however, it is very unlikely that Senator McCain will heed my advice.

Senator McCain,

On the behalf of the Morrison family, I would like to wish you the best of luck in the 2008 campaign. However, as a Republican in the tradition of Eisenhower and Goldwater, in order to pledge my support for your candidacy, I humbly request that you make the following three adjustments. First, fire from your foreign policy staff Henry Kissinger, who has done this country (and much of the world) only harm for the last 40 years. Second, fire from your staff all those associated with the American Enterprise Institute (namely, Kristol, Kagan, Cohen, and the other very un-conservative radicals who have advocated the recolonization of the Middle East). And third, choose as your running mate Senator Chuck Hagel, who is one of the few truly conservative patriots left in our Congress. If you can meet these three conditions, I, along with a huge portion of the American population, will pledge full support for your campaign.

Best of luck,
Grady Glenn

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"At North Farm"

John Ashbery`s "At North Farm," read by Beholdmyswarthyface at Wakeijuku in Tokyo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007







Sunday, November 4, 2007








Saturday, November 3, 2007


(1886*1965)は、存命中にはその評価を巡って多くの議論を呼ぶ人物であったが、近年では二十世紀の中でも卓越した小説家とされている。1984年にDonald Keeneは、「時代を経ても褪せることなく、世界に名声を誇る存在として受け入れられる作家がいるとしたら、それは谷崎であろう」と言ったが、彼が予言した通りに、多くの谷崎作品の翻訳や批評が活発に行われている。批評の多くが、谷崎と西洋の関係、作品中の女性の扱い、母性願望とマゾキズムのテーマ、そして晩年の「東洋的な」美学を論じており、非常に重要だと思われる現象に注目しているものは少ない。それは、谷崎の特に初期及び中期の作品が、その核心部分において、文学についてのサブテクストであるということである。「刺青」(1911)から「美食倶楽部」(1917)、「青塚氏の話」(1926)、「蓼喰う虫」(1929)まで、初期から中期の作品は共通して、芸術とは何か、芸術家の仕事とは何か、そして伝統の役割とは何か、という問題を扱っている。上智大学での修士論文では、谷崎の初期及び中期の作品への様々な影響、つまり江戸時代の文学の伝統を始め、日本及びヨーロッパの自然主義、西洋のモダニズム、日本の古典文学などを考察し、そしてそれら初期・中期の作品が、いかにして文学についてのディスコースとして見ることができるのかを示していきたいと考えている。そのために以下の五つの方法で谷崎作品を見ていくこととする。











森鴎外、夏目漱石、永井荷風などの小説を読んだ者であれば誰もが周知の通り、近代日本文学を研究する全ての者にとって漢文の講座は必要です。“Interpretations of Modernity”のような批評理論の講座も私の文学や文学批評に関する知識を深めるのに必要であり、それらの資料を読み込むことは、私が論文を書くための批評技術に磨きをかけることができると思います。特に近代及びポストモダンの批評の大部分は“self-referential*art”という概念と関連しているためです。また、日本の視覚文化に関する深い知識も、谷崎潤一郎研究に多くの有益な情報を与えてくれます。谷崎が視覚媒体に強く惹かれていたことはよく知られており、ある時点で映画の仕事に従事するために執筆活動を断念しかねないほどでありました。これらの講座からなるカリキュラムを備えていることに加え、Angela*Yiu助教授のいる場で研究できることは大変大きな利益となります。Yiu助教授は日本近代文学の二大巨匠、森鴎外と夏目漱石の専門家であり、その二人の作家は私の研究する谷崎に少なからぬ影響を与えていると私は考えています。また、私の現在の関心は小説ですが、James*Shields教授の下で詩の研究を再開することも楽しみにしています(アリゾナ州立大学でAnthony*Chambers教授の下で研究していたのは詩歌でした)。YiuShields、両氏とともに二年間を過ごすことは貴重な経験となることは間違いありません。そして、加えると、現在私が住む和敬塾という学生寮には、上智大学グローバル・スタディーズの課程で正規学生として学ぶ友人達がいます。彼らのそのプログラムに対する評価は非常に高く、来年度より彼らとともに研究を始めることができることを希望しています。


[1] Noriko Lippitは、Reality and Fiction in Modern Japanese Literature.の中で、理想の女性像をこれら四つに分類して論じている。

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Just in from Cniva Albinus:
With my graduation thesis deadline fast approaching, I'm currently considering some possible topics, one of which I'll post here as an abstract. I might get rid of the first paragraph altogether and scrap the idea of using Walter Mead's definition of the term "ghost dances." I still haven't decided whether it's entirely appropriate or not. Another problem is that the two works (Ishikawa Jun's “Meigetsushu”『明月珠』 (1946) and Nagai Kafū's “Ameshōshō”『雨瀟瀟』 (1921)) are separated by a space of 25 years -- a fact which might make it difficult to come to any meaningful conclusions about the works. At any rate, here it is:
According to American historian and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Walter Russel Mead, the term “ghost dance,” while originally referring to the Native American religious movement in the 1890s, can be seen as the more general phenomenon of any nationalist or nativist movement that under certain historical conditions arises almost automatically as a resistance to a set of external pressures, whether in the form of invading imperial armies or calls for Westernization, internationalism or “globalism.” In order to promote a unified resistance to these external pressures, these “ghost dance” movements are often constructed upon the dubious grounds of “internal”national and racial mythologies that are intended to counter the “outer” ideologies. This same drama, Mead argues, has been played out in various theaters around the globe since the 19th century — from China and Japan to Latin America, Ireland, Africa, and even within the United States. More importantly, because they are formed upon unstable grounds, these “ghost dances,” Mead argues, invariably collapse and are defeated. Mead points out the case of Japan’s “ghost dance”-- the period between 1930 and 1945 that saw the rise of a highly jingoistic nationalism, the spread of empire, and a resistance to Western imperialism -- as a prime example, as it ultimately ended in total defeat.

But while this more militant version of the Japanese “ghost dance” was being played out, another one was simultaneously being performed by writers such as Nagai Kafū 永井荷風 (1879-1959) and Ishikawa Jun 石川淳 (1899-1987), who, disillusioned with the jingoistic ideologies of the day, created a cultural revival of their own. As William Tyler points out, “there are many Japans,” and deciding which parts of the tradition one wishes to revive makes all the difference. For Kafū and Ishikawa, retreat into art – particularly into the old plebeian Edo arts — was itself a form of resistance against both the uncritical Westernization that had gripped the country since the Meiji period, and against the nativist backlash to the Western imperial powers. By turning to the traditional arts of Edo — kyōka, haikai, ninjōbon, etc. — Kafū and Ishikawa were able to perform a highly effective and patently modernist “ghost dance” that significantly differs from Mead’s rather unnuanced understanding of the term. Kafū and Ishikawa created a movement that was “aesthetist” in the highest sense and that also served -- albeit often in code -- as a form of political resistance. For this paper I plan to explore this “off-stage ghost dance” phenomenon as it presents itself in Ishikawa Jun's “Meigetsushu”『明月珠』 (1946) and Nagai Kafū's “Ameshōshō”『雨瀟瀟』 (1921).

Sunday, October 28, 2007


今、授業で使っている、南山大学から出版された教科書には、おくりがな・ふりがな・返り点・レ点・イチニ点・タテ点などは全部書かれているが、ここで書き込めるのは「おくりがな」だけだ。すべての漢文用記号の表示を見たいなら、『An Introduction to Japanese Kanbun. By Akira Komai & Thomas H. Rohlich. Nanzan University Academic Publication Series』をご購入ください。それから現代日本語訳と英訳はまだ出来ていないので、出来たらまたこの記事を更新します。(終わったら格例は、a.白文b.書き下し文、c. 現代日本語訳 (未完)、d. English Translation (未完)という順番になります。)


a. 池水甚冷。
b. 池水甚ダ冷シ。

a. 信長南行信清北行。
b. 信長ハ南行シ、信清ハ北行ス。

a. 今日戦老将必死。
b. 今日ノ戦老将必ズ死セム。

a. 天晴山風涼。
b. 天晴レテ山風涼シ。


a. 民飢且凍。
b. 民飢エ且ツ凍ユ。

a. 国破山河在。
b. 国破レテ山河在リ。

a. 武田氏実源義光裔也。
b. 武田氏ハ実源義光ノ裔也。

a. 紅葉門深行跡断。
b. 紅葉門ニ深jクシテ行跡断ユ。

a. 明年秀吉病卒。
b. 明年秀吉病ミテ卒ス。


a. 信光抜刀斬之。
b. 信光刀ヲ抜イテ之ヲ斬ル。

a. 重恥軽死。
b. 恥ヲ重ンジテ死ヲ軽ンズ。

a. 光春火城自殺。
b. 光春城ヲ火イテ自殺ス。

a. 人不試酒不知味。
b. 人酒ヲ試ミアレバ味ヲ知ラズ。

a. 書厚故不貴。
b. 書厚キガユエニ貴カラズ。

a. 弓銃手居前、長槍歩卒次之。
b. 弓銃手前ニ居リ、長槍ノ歩卒之ニ次グ。


a. 卿才不可為民上。
b. 卿ノ才ハ民ノ上ト為ルベカラズ。

a. 不速誅之、後不復可制。
b. 速ヤカニ之ヲ誅セズンバ、後復タ制スベカラズ。

a. 元就弟就勝謀殺元就。
b. 元就ノ弟就勝元就ヲ殺サント謀ル。


a. 欲購買新車。
b. 新車ヲ購買セント欲ス。

a. 可焼却悪書
b. 悪書ヲ焼却スベシ。

a. 不入虎穴不得虎子
b. 虎穴ニ入ランバ虎子を得ズ。

a. 信長擁義昭入京師遂略定近畿。
b. 信長義昭ヲ擁シ、京師ニ入リ遂ニ近畿ヲ略定ス。


a. 玉不磨無光。
b. 玉磨カレバ光ナシ。

a. 敵軍不強大。
b. 敵軍強大ナラズ。

a. 午時吉報至。秀吉方食。
b. 午時ニ吉報至ル。秀吉マサニ食ス。

a. 衆人皆酔、吾独醒。
b. 衆人皆酔ヒ、吾独リ醒タリ。

a. 善遊者溺、善騎者堕。
b. 善ク遊グ者ハ溺レ、善ク騎ル者ハ堕ツ。

a. 謙信自進過河背水陣
b. 謙信自ラ進ンデ河を過ギ水ヲ背ニシテ陣ス。

a. 年々歳々花相似、歳々年々人不同。
b. 年々歳々花相似タリ、歳々年々人同ジカラズ。

a. 渇不飲盗泉之水。
b. 渇スレドモ盗泉之水ヲ飲マズ。

a. 懸羊頭売狗肉。
b. 羊頭ヲ懸ガテ狗肉ヲ売ル。

a. 居治不忘乱。
b. 治ニ居テ、乱ヲ忘レズ。

a. 至戦概捨馬歩闘。
b. 戦ニ至ッテハ概ネ馬ヲ捨テテ歩闘ス。

a. 多用火器長槍弓矢之用衰。
b. 火器長槍ヲ多用シ弓矢之用衰ス。

a. 夜航湖走北国依山田家。
b. 夜湖ニ航シテ北国ニ走リ山田家ニ依ル。

a. 信長大喜迎将軍。
b. 信長大イニ喜ンデ将軍ヲ迎フ。


a. 春色満天地。
b. 春色満天ニ地ツ。

a. 在家栽培植物。
b. 在家ニ植物ヲ栽培ス。

a. 吾始学漢文。
b. 吾始メテ漢文ヲ学ブ。

a. 病入膏肓。
b. 病膏肓ニ入ル。

a. 吹毛求疵。
b. 毛ヲ吹イテ疵ヲ求ム。

a. 人影在地仰見明月。
b. 人影地ニ在リ、仰イデ明月ヲ見ル。

a. 吾受命守之。失一塁吾恥也。
b. 吾命ヲ受ケテ之ヲ守ル。一塁モ失フハ吾ガ恥ナリ。

a. 使者至難言之。氏政察其色請間沐浴作絶命辞自殺。
b. 使者至リテ之ヲ言フヲ難ル。氏政其ノ色ヲ察シ、間ヲ請ヒ、沐浴シ、絶命ノ辞ヲ作ツテ自殺ス。

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Notes on Raymond Williams's The Country and the City (1973), "Country and City"

Just in from Jarvis32:

Born in the Black Mountains on the Welsh border and later educated at Cambridge, Raymond Williams was ever conscious of the tensions between "country" and "city," and of the disparity between the perceptions and the realities of each. In his essay "Country and City," he challenges the misrepresentation of rural life promoted at Cambridge, arguing that the relation between city and country is never fixed. "Cityfolk" in fact hold ambivalent attitudes toward the "country," he argued; and likewise, the rural population holds complex and ambivalent attitudes toward the city. Yet the old, monolithic stereotypes persist, despite the associative complexities of the two terms, “country” and “city.” Drawing on personal anecdotes, Williams argues his point convincingly in a rich, comma-strewn prose that reads more like the poetry of, say, W.H. Auden than formal criticism.

In Chapter 2 of the essay, Williams argues that rural life -- in England, at least-- has effectively ended. This process of deruralization began during the industrial revolution, when an economic system based on highly developed agrarian capitalism was established, causing the traditional peasantry to quickly disappear. Rural agriculture became even less of a factor during Britain’s imperialist phase, so that by the turn of the century only 4% of working men were engaged in farming. However, despite the complete transformation of the social and economic framework, the old stereotypes of "city" and "country" continued to persist.

Just what are these stereotypes? Williams points out that the images of the country are often either idealized or degraded. The idyllic image of the country is a world that is "natural," "innocent," "virtuous," and "peaceful." The negative inversion of this image is the "backward," "ignorant," and "limited" country. The city, too, can be stereotyped positively as a cultural center of learning, communication, and light; and, negatively, as a noisy center of worldliness and material ambitions, a hub of power, commerce, and rent.

As Raymonds points out, these stereotypes reach back to ancient times and persist into the present, despite the fact that they no longer provide any accurate reflection of the modern world. "Ways of life" today, Williams concludes, are too varied to be categorized as either belonging to "country" or "city," as there have been for decades now suburbs, dorm towns, shanty towns, industrial estates, and many other forms of living that do not fit comfortably into either category.

Raymond Williams (1921-1988), Welsh novelist, critic, academic and politicizer of F.R. Leavis, fought at Normandy during the Second World War and soon after participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. After the war, he became an ardent leftist, advocating in some cases violent Marxist revolution. Along with Lukacs, Gramsci, Plekhanov, Goldmann, Althusser, Benjamin, Barthes, Antonio Gramsci, Chomsky, Brecht, Sartre and others, Williams published theoretical writings that helped form post-war cultural Marxism. His major works include Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961) and The Country and the City (1973).

Grady Glenn on Ron Paul, 日本語字幕版

Just in from Grady Glenn:
これは、2008年の大統領選挙に立候補しているロン・ポール議員の発言集です。連邦準備制度、国税庁、そしてアメリカのさまざまな戦争をすべて廃止を訴えるロン・ポール議員は、共和党の候補者の中でも “泡沫候補”扱いされ、大手マスコミはなるべく彼の事は取り上げないようにしていますが、インターネットにおいては抜群の支持率を持っています。


Saturday, October 6, 2007



とにかく、今回の二つの会議においては、ブッシュ政権が厳しい非難を浴びているから、海外からの情報が限りなく多 いため、このプロジェクトは思ったより長くなってしまったんだ。それから、ご覧の通り、少し似たような内容がさまざまな新聞に書かれているようだけど、そ れは現代マスメディアの一つの特徴で仕方がなかった。




I.  国連会議の情報 -- 国連のサイトから得られる情報とそのまとめ

II. 各メディアの報道のまとめ

III. ブッシュ氏が主催する米国会議

I.  国連会議の情報 -- 国連のサイトから得られる情報とそのまとめ

国連会議: 気候変動を巡る世界的議題 -- 世界歴史に例のない環境問題を巡る高官の会議

参加者: 歴史上で環境問題における最大の会議となったこの会議は、バン・キムン国連事務総長に主催され、総勢150ヶ国からの高官が参加し、そのうち70ヶ国からは国家元首が出席した。

日付:9月24日 (国連総合の一般討論会の前日)

場所: 国連本部、ニューヨーク市米国。

目的: 今回の会議では、2009年のバリ会議の前に、各国の代表者が国連気候変動枠組み条約に合意することを目標とし、また京都議定書が期限切 れになる2012年までに新たな規制を実行することを目指す。短期的目標は、次に12月3日に開かれる「会議」の前に、150ヶ国それぞれの考え方を統一 することを目指すことである。気候変動による最大の危機について異論がないようにし、特に最新研究で明らかになった、気温が上昇し続けるにつれて氷河は後 退しているという重要な事実について共通の認識を持つことを目標とする。その他、北極温暖化の速度は、北極地以外の地域より二倍の速さで進んでいると発見 され、その結果アフリカなどの乾燥地環境に及ぼす影響が非常に危険だということも重要視するべきである。これらの事実をもってさまざまな国にこの問題の重 要性や緊急性を伝えることが目的だ。

会議内容の要約: まず、今地球中で起こっている気候変動について科学的な分析の発表が行われる。次に、出席者は四つのグループに分割され、以下にあるように同時会議の最も適切な一つに参加する。


II. 各メディアの報道のまとめ

"The Future in our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change"

1. "Argentine President Calls for Action to Fight Climate Change," PEOPLE`S DAILY CHINA, Sept 25, 2007.

月曜日の国連会議でアルゼンチン大統領Nestor Kirchnerは、積極的に気候変動の問題に取り組んでいく、という意志を今回の150ヶ国が出席した国連会議で強く示した。バン氏は、地球温暖化は先 進工業国の問題だけではなく国連全加盟国の問題だと主張した。そして開発途上国は、もはやこの問題を解決するように全力を尽くしてるので、これからは先進 国からの協力を受けなければならない、とアメリカなどの先進国に向かって訴えた。

2. "Van Schalkwyk addresses UN climate-change summit," MAIL AND GUARDIAN ONLINE, Sept 24, 2007.

南アフリカ環境問題委員会長Marthinus van Schalkwyk氏は、ニューヨーク国連本部の高官レベルの会議で参加国の代表者に向かって、2009年までに加盟国の考え方を統一しなければならないと強く述べた。

3. "Poor nations need incentives to cut emissions," FINANCIAL TIMES, Sept 25, 2007.

気候変動問題解決のため、先進国は、発展途上国に動機を与えながら、自ら責任をもって先導的な役割を担わねばならない、と韓国人パン・ギムン国連 事務総長は今回の国連会議の演説で述べた。最も発展している国がそうすると、発展途上の国々は次第についてくるとバン氏は追加したが、残念なことに、その 先導的な役割を担う意志は今回米国に全く示されなかった。ブッシュが欠席したことは、非常に重要なことであり、見逃してはならない。それに対してバン氏 は、環境問題解決のために発展途上の国々が全力を尽くしているのに、最も豊かな国である米国が責任を果たしていないことは、大変な恥であったと嘆いた。バ ン氏の発言に応じて、ブッシュ政権は、今回解決できなかった問題を今週木曜日に開かれるワシントンDCの会議で提起する予定だ、と応答した。ブッシュ氏が 主催するワシントンDCのその会議は、温室効果ガスの主要排出国15カ国が出席する会議だということで、すでに注目を浴びている。

4. "U.N. chief sees major commitment to climate change," REUTERS. Sept 24, 2007.

バン・キムン国連事務総長に発言よれば、月曜日の会議は、気候変動との戦いに関して大きな転機だったが、最も期待されていたアメリカが抵抗したこ とに関してバン氏は、愕然としたと述べた。ただし、これからアメリカが果たしてくれる大きい役割をまだ期待している、と付け加えた。

ブッシュの欠席を補うためかのように、元副大統領アール・ゴアやカリフォルニア州知事アーノルド・シュワルツェネッガーが出席した。副大統領ゴア は、米国マスメディアが環境問題などの最も重要な課題を無視しながらブリットニー・スピアーズなどについてのくだらないセレブ・ゴシップばかり報道してい ることは、とても残念だと嘆いていた。そして出席しなかったブッシュ氏の代理に演説したコンドリーザ・ライス米大統領補佐官は、国際強制規制というフレー ズを回避しながら、「地球温暖化を解決するには、技術の革命が必要だ」と主張した。

5. "Climate 'stars' Schwarzenegger, Gore take spotlight at United Nations," AP. CHINA POST SUMMIT, Sept 25, 2007.'stars.htm

今週の国連会議にブッシュ大統領は不在だった。その大きな穴埋めをするために、「環境問題セレブ」アーノルド・シュワルツェネッガー及び副大統領 アール・ゴアが出席し、ブッシュに集まっていたはずの注目を奪った。ブッシュ氏は、会議に参加しなかったにもかかわらず、恥知らずにも会議直後の晩餐会に 出席した。ブッシュ政権は、2001年に述べたように、温暖化という問題は国際強制期限で解決するのではなく、それぞれの国がそれぞれの政策で取り組むべ き、という要旨を今回再び述べた。その発言に反発し、ヨーロッパのさまざまな国は、憤りを感じ、米国は独自の貢献をしなければならないはずだと遺憾を示し た。そして、世界中でも、早急に国際条約上の排出ガス減少規制のため米国からの協力を受けないといけない、という意見が高まりつつある。

6. "The U.N.'s Hot Air on Climate Change," TIME MAGAZINE, Sept 25, 2007.,8599,1665090,00.html

環境問題に関する話し方が変わったとはいえ、実際の政策には変わりがないという非難の声が国際社会でさらに高まってきた。それに応じてブッシュ政 権は、8年前と全く同じように、どのような国際条約でも、強制規制である限り、我々は抵抗的態度をとるのだ、と応答をした。ブッシュ政権によれば、 1997年の京都議定書にあった二重基準が今回の条約にも残っているので、国連強制規制に賛成が出来ない。つまり、先進国には厳しく、発展途上国には厳し からず、という内容に前と同じ程度の勢いで抵抗している。

7. "U.N. Leader on Global Warming: We Need U.S. Leadership," ABC NEWS, US. Sept 24, 2007.

バン国連事務総長にとって最も重要な問題は、地球温暖化である。彼の考え方によれば、気候変動という問題の解決はそれぞれの国に任せるのではな く、諸国条約上の強制規制で解決せねばならない。その中で、最も大きな役割を果たさなければならないのは、米国だ。米国からの協力や貢献がなくては進歩は 不可能だ、とバン氏は今回のNY州の国連会議で述べた。彼は、今回の会議に欠席したブッシュを厳しく非難し、「世界の最大量の排出ガスを放出しているのは 米国だが、この問題に対して最も積極的かつ有効的に戦う力があるのも米国だ」と指摘した。

8. "EXTRA: Civil society, small nations want action on climate," EARTHTIMES.ORG, Sept 24, 2007.

今回の国連会議をめぐって、グリーンピースなどのさまざまな環境保護団体は、これから米国や中国に対する圧力を次第に強めていく、という意志を述 べた。グリーンピースなどの団体は、中国に対しては石炭への依存を減らすこと、米国に対しては再生エネルギー源を使用することを強く勧めた。京都プロト コールを支持していたグリーンピースは、過去のことに一切こだわらず、今最も大事なのは米国が次の2009年国際条約強制規制に参加することだ、と主張し ている。

9. "Bush vs UN - Open season for climate negotiations," NEW SCIENTIST, Sept 25, 2007.

今回の国連会議では、150以上の国々が出席し、その中70人以上の国家元首も出席した。ところが、最も期待されていたアメリカ大統領ブッシュが 出席しなかったことは、非常に重要な問題であった。ブッシュ氏は、今回のUN会議の代わりに、今週中に自らの会議を主催する予定を述べた。しかし、二つの 会議を行う必要は本当にあるのか、その二つの会議はどう違うのか、などの疑問が国際社会で高まっている。

ブッシュ氏が欠席していた国連会議には、二つの目的があったとされる。一つは、今年十月予定のバリ会議が開かれる前に、全加盟国の意見を統一させ るためだとされる。もう一つは、京都プロトコールが2012年に期限切れになった後を継ぐ新たな条約の枠組みを決定するためだ。それとは対照的に、今週木 曜日にブッシュ氏が主催する会議は、前日の国連会議の目的と異なり、バリ会議の効果を弱めるように時間稼ぎをしようとしているだけだという非難の声がさら に高まっている。

10. "UN hosts global warming shindig, but Bush chooses just to eat and shun," THE AGE, AUSTRALIA, Sept 25, 2007.

世界の150以上の国々からの代表者が出席した国連高官レベルの会議で、ブッシュ大統領は、食い逃げをしたのだ。先進国からは、高官大臣が派遣さ れ、発展途上国からは国家元首が派遣された。ところが、世界唯一の超大国である米国は、欠席だった。ブッシュ大統領は、今回のUN会議の代わりに今週木曜 日に米国主催の会議を開くと述べた。確かにどの会議でも、温暖化や気候変動を中止するという目的があるが、どのような方針や政策をとるかにはかなりの食い 違いがあるのだ。数年前から強制的規制に抵抗してきたブッシュ政権は、世界最強の15ヶ国のために特殊な基準を設けることを目指し、そのような基準が未だ 出来ていないために今回の国連会議に出席をしなかったと弁説した。

11. "Bush again puts U.S. at edge of global warming debate," INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, Sept 24, 2007.


12. "U.S. not ‘on track’ in global warming, U.N. says," ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept 23, 2007.


13. "States take lead on global warming," ARIZONA REPUBLIC, Sept 23, 2007.

ブッシュ大統領がいないまま、各州の知事や各界の著名人が自ら名乗って国連で提供された対策に即して取り組み始めようという意思を強く示した。京 都プロトコール期限切れ以降は、連邦政府からの協力はほぼないに等しいので、各州の州当局者は自ら排出ガス量の減少対策に取り組んで、連邦政府に模範とな るような環境問題対策を作り上げようとしている。

14. "UN wants control of climate change rules," MALAYSIA SUN, Sept 24, 2007.

バン・キムン国連事務総長は、今回の国連会議で各当事者を国際条約規制に同意させるという大きいな希望を持っていたが、結局ブッシュ大統領の不在 と週の後半のワシントン DC会議を開くということによってその希望は叶わなかった。そのワシントンDCの会議についてバン氏は「非常に狼狽した」と述べ、「これは余興に過ぎな い」と明確に発言した。

III. ブッシュ氏が主催する米国会議


1. "Climate Change: Filling the Bush Gap," TIME, Sept 28, 2007.,8599,1666840,00.html

今週の国連会議をさぼっていたブッシュ大統領は、今日のワシントンDCの会議で、積極的な措置を取ると約束したが、国際社会の中では、実際対策と して有意義な変化があまり期待されていないようだ。彼の発表に対して「中身のない美辞麗句にすぎないのだ」、などの批判の声が増してきた。7年前のブッ シュ氏の発言と比べて、今回のレトリックはより協力的に聞こえるが、実際の対策としては前と何も変わりがなく、国際強制規制に協力するのをしぶっているこ とが明確になった。

それと対照的に、この会議で発表した元大統領クリントンは、実質的なアイディアを提供した。クリントン氏の対策は、1 億5千万円以上の金額をアフリカ大陸の熱エネルギー回収へ投資し、そして米国の環境保護団へ5百万も投資するというものだ。その上、炭素還元のために、発 展途上の国々へ2億1千万円も投資することが計画されている。

2. "At Its Session on Warming," U.S. Is Seen to Stand Apart, NY TIMES, Sept 28, 2007

き のう、ホワイトハウスで開催された16ヶ国の会議で、ブッシュ氏が環境問題において国際社会の面前でいかに孤立しているかが明白となった。ブッシュ大統領 自身は演説しなかったが、彼の代理として演説したコンドリーザ・ライス米大統領補佐官は、国際社会の諸国と共に協力していくと約束した。しかし、経済の障 害となるような措置は決して取らないつもりだと主張をし、ブッシュ政権の国際条約強制規制への不信を改めて述べた。ライス氏は、アメリカのような大国には 特殊な基準を適用し特別な責任をとらせ、そして発展途上国には違う役割を果たしてもらわねばならぬと主張した。その上、強制的規制や法的拘束力のある協定 なら必ず却下する、と脅かした。

ブッシュ政権によれば、各国が各々の解決方法を追求しなければならないとする。それから、貧困率の高い国々には燃料アクセスは未だ必要だとし、規 制が任意でなければ米国は同意しないと改めて主張した。このような発言に対して、ヨーロッパの大数の国が反対し、国際的枠組みなしでは温暖化の解決が不可 能だ、と反論しつづけている。出席した国は、オーストラリア、イギリス、ブラジル、カナダ、中国、フランス、ドイツ、インド、インドネシア、イタリア、日 本、韓国、メキシコ、ロシア、南アフリカなどであった。数十の非政府組織も出席した。

3. "Bush's cold view of climate change," SALON, Sept 28, 2007.

指導的環境研究者Peter Goldmark氏によれば、今回のワシントンDCで開かれる二日間の会議は、ブッシュ政権にとってグリーンハウスガスの排出予防規制を妨げる機会であ る。この会議に参加した16ヶ国が下級の代表者しか派遣しなかったという事実は、ヨーロッパではこの会議はまともに受け止められていないということを証明 している。

ブッ シュ氏のレトリックが前より協力的なものに変わったとはいえ、実際の対策としては変わりがないことは明白である。国際的規制に対してブッシュ氏が数年前と 同じように抵抗している姿勢を見て、米国の数人の州知事や地元の役人たちは、活動的に動き出し、UN規制に従って貢献すると誓った。Goldmark氏が 指摘するように、米国の連邦政府はまだ時代遅れである。

4. "Rice defends Bush's UN climate talks," GUARDIAN UK, Sept 28, 2007.,,2178861,00.html

多様な報道によれば、今回ブッシュ大統領が主催する会議は、今週の前半に開かれた国連会議を台無しにするためのものだ、という非難の声が高まりつ つある。が、そのような批判に応じてコンドリーザ・ライス米大統領補佐官は、「そのつもりは決してない」と強く反論した。ところが、ブッシュ氏が主催する 会議の前からEU諸国の各政府がすでに疑問を抱いていたため、ワシントンDCの会議に派遣された外交特使は、高官レベルでなくて比較的に下級だった、と指 摘される。

国 連同盟国やEU諸国の多くは、京都プロトコールが2012年に期限切れ以後、温室効果ガスの排出量に強制的上限を課することを支持しているが、ブッシュ氏 はそれにも反対意思を示している。従来、任意条約を目指していた中国やインドは、今回で妥協する必要があることが分かったように見えて、今回の提供に同意 した。にもかかわらず、ブッシュ氏は、いつまでも断固として反対していくという態度を示していた。

5. "Bush Climate-Change Conference Has Doubters," NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, Sept. 27, 2007.


6. "UN is best for climate talks, poor nations say," INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, Sept. 26, 2007.

貧 困率が未だ高いメキシコ、中国、ブラジルなどの発展途上国は、地球温暖化という問題より貧困・経済格差・国民健康・などのさまざまな問題が優先だと指摘し た。「気候変動という問題に対して我々は努めて全力を注いでいるが、忘れてならないのは、それより先に解決しなければならない問題がたくさんある」と国連 の先進国に向かった演説で伝えた。

7. "Bush's Climate Meeting: Talk, But No Action," BUSINESS WEEK, Sept 28, 2007.

今回、ブッシュ大統領が主催した環境問題会議では、ブッシュ氏は温暖化との戦いに進んで協力していくという意思を示したが、この意志は うわべの約束にすぎないのではないかという疑問が世界中で広がっている。しかし、この記事によれば、ブッシュ政権にはあまり期待しすぎなてはならないとさ れる。ブッシュのレトリックには大きいな変化があった一方、対策には変化がないようにみえる。ブッシュ氏は、温室効果ガスの排出量減少対策において強制的 上限を課することに対して、米国政府は賛成しないことを示した。この現状では、アメリカからの協力を得るにはブッシュ政権の終焉を待つしかない、と指摘さ れた。

8. "Washington changes its tune on climate," FINANCIAL TIMES, Sept 27, 2007.


9. "Motives behind Bush's climate summit," BBC NEWS, Sept 27, 2007.

きのう、ワシントンDCの会議に出席したのは、環境を最も汚染している16ヶ国からの下級の官僚のみだった。同じ週の前半に同じ問題についての国 連会議が あったのに、それに出席しなかったブッシュ氏がもう一つ別の会議を開いたことに怒りの声が高まっている。報道によれば、ブッシュ氏が別の会議を開会したの は、国連や国際協力の効果を弱めるためだとされる。

この会議は、国際規制や条約にアメリカは束縛されたくないのだ、という明確なメッセー ジを国際社会に伝えるためでもあったとされる。しかし、国連同盟国、またアメリカ国内からも、強制的規制がなければこの問題を解決しえないという声が強 まっているので、アメリカはいつまでこのような孤立した態度をとり続けられるのかという疑問が高まる。

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Letter to Mom about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Statement on Homosexuality in Iran


Though much ridiculed, the statement itself-- "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country" -- might in fact be true if understood in its proper context, and if proper attention is payed to the word "like."

It seems that what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meant was that the concept of "gay-identity" doesn't exist in Iran. "Gay identity" was an invention of 1970s America, along with "black identity," "Jewish identity," "female identity," and others. In the 70s, America's melting pot faced its first severe identity crisis, and it responded by drawing rigid lines around the various and often arbitrary categories of race, gender, and sexual behavior.

These "identity movements," however, were a particularly American phenomenon, and one would be hard pressed to find similar examples elsewhere in world history (though the American movement did subsequently spark various offshoot movements around the world). Of course, homosexual activity exists today in Iran and has always existed; but, generally speaking, the Persians, like the Japanese, have not felt it necessary to define themselves by it as they do in the U.S. In other words, the lines are blurred, there's room for ambiguity, and a defiant proclamation of identity is unnecessary, even laughable.

Themes of pederasty, sodomy, and homosexuality are in fact quite common in both the pre-Islamic and Islamic literature of Persia (up through the present), and, like the Greeks and the Japanese at particular times, Persian poets often praised homosexual relationships, which they considered to be the purest expression of human love.

"Ryan, are you gay?" I can hear now the doubts being raised. No, mom, I'm not gay, either in the contemporary American "identity" understanding of the term or by the standards of the Persians. I'm just explaining what I think the President of Iran meant by his statement. This explanation, of course, does not excuse him for treating homosexual activity as a crime (assuming the accusations are true); but neither should these claims be used by the media to excuse the U.S. from waging war on Iran.

Your devoted son,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 847 — Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue #2 in C minor

Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 847 — Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue No. 2 in C minor, performed by amateur pianist (keep in mind!) Ryan Morrison at Wakeijuku 和敬塾 in Tokyo, to an empty hall.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


* "Papa Leaving China on His Water Buffalo"




いとも簡単に 見かけます。







Monday, September 17, 2007


This just in from Grady Glenn:

確かにこういう本格的な討論会は、現代アメリカにおいて滅多に行われないことだ。昨日は、今までのいんちき討論と違って、およそ9分でアメリカの最も根本的な問題 -- アメリカは帝国であるべきか、それとも共和国であるべきか -- を巡ってかなり猛烈な討論となった。ロン・ポールとマイク・ハカビーがお互いに突っ込み合ったりすることが非常に稀かつ面白かったので、見てください。これを見ながらつくづく思ったことは、米国マスメディアの門番がロン・ポールの口を未だ封じていないことは本当に不思議だと。

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grady's Letter to a Friend, Concerning General Patraeus's Slow "Victory" Plan

This just in from Grady Glenn:
I read the article you sent me . It is very convincing, and the McCain-Lieberman strategy is perhaps the only viable one if you're goals are the following: to maintain American hegemony over the Arabian peninsula indefinitely, and, eventually, to spread the war into Iran (something which McCain and Lieberman, and the Israeli lobby, are all strongly pushing for). If these are the goals, then it indeed makes little sense to begin withdrawing troops now.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to make America safe and to prevent further acts of terrorism, then the McCain-Lieberman strategy of a surge in troop numbers and an expansion of the conflict is entirely counterproductive.

And, I agree with you that McCain might still win the presidency. He has almost no following among the public; but, lucky for him, we have other ways of selecting presidents in the U.S.

Now here's a short reading list. First, if you haven't yet, check out Mearsheimer and Walt's book on American foreign policy, called The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Also, read every thing you can of Michael Scheuer, the former CIA chief of the Bin-Laden Issue Station. These are not liberal diatribes. Their authors are not even liberals, really, and neither am I. And when you see my boy McCain, tell him that neither Ryan nor his mother much approves of what he's been up to of late.

-Grady Glenn

Results from the Pew Center Poll -- An "Isolationist" America?

This just in from Grady Glenn:
Maybe it's an opium dream to expect much to come of this recent Ron Paul phenomenon. But the fact is that according to the major polls nearly half of the American population support a "mind-our-own-business" non-interventionist foreign policy. About 2% of government officials feel this way, and those 2% are for the most part ignored by the largely pro-intervention media. So I think there is the possibility for a real populist movement if someone can effectively represent the sentiments of this half of the population.

According to the Pew Center poll, "The survey, conducted this fall and released today, found a revival of isolationist feelings among the public similar to the sentiment that followed the Vietnam War in the 1970's and the end of the Cold War in the 1990's..... Forty-two percent of Americans think that the United States should 'mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own,' according to the survey, which was conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with the Council on Foreign Relations" (NY Times, November 17, 2005).

PS Here's the Pew Research Center article

今日のピアノ演奏: BACH


作曲家: バッハ

曲名: BWV 857 ― Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F minor.

今回のスタイル: Unable to hold the audience's attention at a slow pace (some say I'm unable to hold their attention at any pace), I played a bit faster than Glenn Gould plays it.

舞台: 文京区、東京、日本。とあるマンション。

演奏者:ラxxン モxソン

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kokinwakashū Preface and the Shih Ching (The Book of Songs) Great Preface

According to the Great Preface 大序 to the Shih Ching 詩經, poetry is indistinguishable from history, its purpose is explicitly moral, and its style is to be in accordance with the mood and politics of the age. Specifically, the purpose of poetry is to correct governments that have gone astray, advise public officials, and encourage proper behavior between husband and wife.

By contrast, the Japanese, according to the Kokinwakashū 古今和歌集 preface, place the focus of poetry on symbolism (“they give expression to the meditations of their hearts in terms of the sights appearing before their eyes and the sounds coming to their ears”), subjectivity, and the communicative relation between reader and listener.


This just in from Grady Glenn:




A (Very) Brief History of the Ancient Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry: From Plato to Wordsworth

The quarrel begins with Plato (428 BC – 348 BC), who presents a mimetic theory of art whereby the artist functions as a mirror to nature, reflecting and/or imitating the observable universe. The mimetic theory of art is, according to M.H. Abrams, the oldest and “most primitive” of the theories. Plato holds that the value of art should be judged in terms of verisimilitude -- i.e., either by its relation to truth or by the degree to which the created object resembles the imitated object.

In the Republic, Plato describes the three realms -- the realm of forms, of particulars, and of shadows. It is the category of shadows into which art falls, as the artist’s creation (being an imitation of an imitation) is the furthest removed from the ultimate truth, i.e., the realm of forms. Similarly, Socrates provides the analogy of the three beds. The first bed is the Ideal bed, which exists within the realm of forms. The second bed is that of the carpenter, and is of the realm of particulars. The third bed is the one portrayed by the artist in his painting. Because this third, simulated bed is twice removed from the truth (the bed of the realm-of-forms), Plato refuses to admit the artist into his utopian republic, since artists do nothing but propagate un-truths and arouse the baser emotions of man, leading them astray.

With Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), we see one of the first defenses of poetry by a non-poet. Though Aristotle began as a disciple of Plato, espousing to his students his and Socrates' ideas, later in life he began to formulate his own theory of drama and challenge the claim that poetry was, at best, distracting, and at worse, corrupting. Aristotle developed a system of analysis based not on art’s relation to truth, per se, but rather on its manner of imitation. To go back to Socrates’ bed analogy, Aristotle argues that the value of the third bed (the one in the painting) is not contingent upon its relation to either the first or the second bed. Instead, Aristotle argued that art should be considered independently from truth, and should be evaluated on its own merits. The manner of its imitation, he insisted, is more important than whether it accurately resembles that which is being imitated.

Still, Aristotle’s argument is a far cry for the purely independent basis for aesthetic analysis developed centuries later by Kant. In fact, Aristotle leaves plenty of room for a moral interpretation of his work, most conspicuously in his claim that the three functions are to teach, to please, and to move.

Raman Selden writes in his introduction to The Theory of Criticism from Plato to the Present that, unlike Aristotle and Plato, Horace (65 BC – 8 BC) is “more interested in the practical questions of how the poet may delight and instruct an intelligent reader, than in defining what a poem is or what literature is.” By including “instruction” among the poet’s tasks, Horace admits a didactic function to poetry, and he advises that the chorus should always make clear which of the characters is behaving in a manner worthy of emulation.

But Horace seems to drive a wedge between truth and poetry with his description of a “second nature,” or the world created by the artist. According to Horace, it is no longer the sole duty of the poet to mirror the observable world. In addition to this task, he must also mirror the reflections seen in other mirrors -- i.e., the poet must draw from “the literary canon,” which was at the time the established repertoire of poems and plays. This marks a major shift in the understanding of mimesis, and in fact pulls us further away from Plato’s advocacy for the mirroring of Truth.

Building upon the moral foundations first laid by Aristotle, Sir Phylip Sidney (1554-1586) develops a didactic theory of poetry in his “An Apologie for Poetry.” In it, he reformulates Aristotle’s arguments in both aesthetic and moral terms. Buy building an argument for the moral legitimacy of poetry, he seeks to fend off poetry’s Puritanical detractors who insist that poetry possesses the power only to corrupt otherwise virtuous minds.

Given the moral, aesthetic, and political nature of poetry, Sidney argues that poetry is the “architectonic,” ranking it above all other fields of knowledge. Poetry, as it deals with both the realms of forms and of particulars, is superior to the field of history, which uses only empirical evidence and particulars. It also ranks above philosophy, which is limited to the realm of forms and a priori argument. Poetry, by contrast, “coupleth the general notion with the particular example,” and also possesses the power “to move” – something which, according to his reasoning, neither history nor philosophy possess.

Moreover, poetry is utopian in nature -- i.e., it possesses a moral idealism not found in history, which is concerned only with what was. Poetry, by contrast, is concerned with could have been and with what could be. Responding to the claim that poets propagate untruths, Sidney counters by stating that the poet is, in fact, the “least of liars” since he “nothing affirms, and therefore never Lieth.” According to Sidney, he is the least inaccurate among the physicians, philosophers, astronomers, and historians. His moral vision is also utopian, since he is the creator of possible worlds to which inspired readers may strive. In this regard, too, history, which is full of stories of evil men going unpunished, is inferior to utopian poetry, where the good can and do prevail.

Furthermore, Sidney argues that this “second nature” created by the artists (i.e., the above-mentioned “third bed,” which Socrates denounced as the furthest from the ultimate truth) is not necessarily a negative quality. “Only the poet,” he writes, “doth grow in effect another nature, in making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as the Heroes, Demigods, Cyclopes, Chimeras, Furies, and such like.” Poetry, he suggests, is an improvement upon nature, and it is the duty of the poets to complete or perfect the world, as it were. The shadows, previously degraded by Plato, are as important to Sidney as that which cast them.

Picking up where Longinus (first or third century AD) began, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704) mark the move away from the external world by focusing on the subjective mind as interpreter of external phenomenon. Paying close attention to psychological introspection and subjective emotions, Hobbes and Locke pave the way for the Romantics, who place the emphasis for their aesthetic theory directly upon on the creative artist himself. With the Romantics, the work is no longer seen in terms of its relation to “universe” or “truth,” or even to the manner of imitation, but rather to the subjective experience of the artist.

The aesthetic analysis of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) ushered in the art-for-art’s-sake movement, and marked an important shift toward the work itself. After Kant, the work of art came to be seen as an independently functioning and self-sustaining “heterocosm.” John Stewart Mill (1806-1873) and other radical Romantics took this further, proclaiming that the imitation of universe is of no importance and that proper art need not bear any relation to truth.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) builds a system of poetry based upon this newly formed subjectivism, but stops short of totally denying the reality of any independent outer world. Wordsworth rejects the “subjective idealism” of Bishop Berkeley in favor of Kant’s waffle-iron theory, and he “argues” in his poems that reality exists neither in some outer Platonic realm nor in total subjectivity, but rather within the web of interaction between the external and internal. This truth, he argues, is experienced by man through the participatory act of “half-creation.”

“ . . . of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,― both what they half create,
And what perceive.” (“Tintern Abbey,” lines 105-107)

Though it seems that in modern times there has been no resolution to this ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry, there has been a reconciliation of sorts. It is unarguable that in the 20th century philosophy moved in the direction of poetry, as it became more and more aware of the problems and limitations of its mode of discourse ― namely, language. For a moment, philosophy quit doing “philosophy,” and took “a step back” to engage itself in some of the more fundamental problems of language and its relation to that which it signifies. Though there has not been any resolution between poetry and philosophy (in the sense that one proved right and the other wrong), there has been a merging of the two great rivals, so that, in a sense, today they have become nearly indistinguishable from one another. Perhaps it is this consolidated form that will prove to be the true “architectonic.”
[For a more thorough history of the quarrel, see The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy, by Thomas Gould.]
This article is copyrighted © 2005 - 2008 by Beholdmyswarthyface&Co.

The Practical Nuisance- Roger Bacon (ca. 1214-1292)-- Opus Maius: Moral Philosophy

In Opus Maius: Moral Philosophy, Roger Bacon attempts to justify the teaching of pagans to Christian contemporaries, who were skeptical of having to be subjected to anything predating Christ. Bacon restates Horace’s “teach and delight” dictum, and emphasizes poetry’s didactic function. He cites Aristotle’s Poetics despite having never seen it, as neither Latin nor English translations were available at the time. Instead, he knows Aristotle only through the 12th-century Arab scholar Averroes. Yet despite not having direct access to Aristotle, he insists that such indirect access is still valuable: “Still, a studious person can catch a faint scent of his views, even though he cannot taste them; for a wine that is decanted from a third vase retains little of its vigor.”

In this essay he outlines the three "species" of rhetorical argument: faith (“proof of the true religion,” rhetorical), justice (e.g., Cicero’s rhetorical works), and the persuasive (arguments that sway us into action and direct us regarding divine worship, laws, and virtues). Poetry, Bacon asserts, belongs to this third "species," which is both rhetorical and poetic.





ドラッグではなく、妻の愛によってジャンキーのようになっているこの夫が、果たしてのろ気て自慢しているのか、あるいはたまんねーよと愚痴っているのかが皆の注目を集め、"one of the most controversial diaries"となっている。






This article is copyrighted © 2005 - 2008 by Beholdmyswarthyface.









世界第一大戦が終わって以来、アメリカは、何百万人を殺しても、いくつかの国に干渉し戦争を起しても、世界の諸国がいいなりにならないことがやっと分ったようだ。今は、アメリカが世界を牛耳るための別の方法を追求しているが、一つの方法は最近発見されました。それが「同性愛の爆弾」ということだ。別称でいえば「The Gay Bomb」。  

人間を普通に殺すとは、いにしえの戦争の戦い方と見直され、これからは敵をホモにするのが最も有効である。この「Gay Bomb」は、敵陣に落とされ、爆弾の中のホルモンが敵にかかると、彼らが急にホモと化して、そして傍にいる戦友に対して抑え切れない欲望が発生したら、彼らが『曽根崎心中』の「お初」と「徳米」が如く抱き合わずにはいられなくなるのだ。その抱き合った状態が数日間も続いて、そして抱き合っているうちに米軍が勝手に侵略を進めてその領域の支配を容易く達成していくのは、言うまでもあるまい。



金曜日の三限。外人が多い「Advanced Japanese Readings」クラス。太宰治の『十二月八日』のつづきを私が朗読する。そうすると皆が知らない言葉が出てきた。













ー あなたの従順な倅より

Poet-as-Primitive Nuisance-- Rousseau on the Bourgeois, the Preface to the Second Discours (1755)

In this preface, we have more of the typical, hippie rhetoric from Rousseau -- the primitive presented as noble; society as stifling and evil; childishness revered as closest to the true and good ("Child is the father of man"); and grown, civilized man as corrupt and false.

Such ideas have been reworked over and again by later generations, but it seems that Rousseau was the greatest and earliest advocate of this type of radical primitivism. The Romantic poets were the direct descendants of Rousseau, and much of his influence can be seen in their poetry, particularly in that of Wordsworth. The 20-century scholar George Steiner took the following quote from Rousseau and wrote about Nazi Germany: "It is through studying man that we have rendered ourselves incapable of knowing him." And prior to Steiner, it was Karl Marx who was greatly influenced by Rousseau's discourse, particularly in his "Communist Manifesto."

The negative portrayal of the bourgeois, too, seemed to have its start here with Rousseau, who defines them as:

"a class of men who attach importance to the gaze of the rest of the world, and who know how to be happy and satisfied with themselves on the testimony of others rather than on their own. Such is, in fact, the true cause of all these differences: the savage lives within himself; social man lives always outside himself; he he knows how to live only in the opinion of others, it is, so to speak, from their judgment alone that he derives the sense of his own existence."

Ron Paul, Imperial Japan, and the (Il)Legitimacy of American Expansion

This just in from Grady Glenn:

America today is facing many of the same dilemmas that Imperial Japan faced in the 1930s -- empire, military over-expansion, restrictions of civil liberties at home, etc. In this article I discuss how today's neoconservative vision of "American globalism" resembles Japan's "Pan-Asian" ideology, and how Ron Paul is the only candidate for President who presents a challenge to this.

An old friend currently working as an adviser to the John McCain campaign recently remarked to me that “much of what Ron Paul says makes sense; but don’t be a wimp ― vote McCain.” The comment was a reminder that the irrational instincts ― the ones that urge us to ignore our more reasonable impulses and not be a "p--sy" ― still do drive much of the conventional policy-making in this country.

Unfortunately, it’s too late in the game to turn Senator McCain around. In fact, he's been advocating his own brand of authoritarianism for decades now, which is why the libertarian-leaning Barry Goldwater was never too fond of him.

The problem is that, like the Japanese Empire circa 1935, the U.S.'s central government has become all too powerful to be challenged by an occasional voice of reason. There were several Ron Paul-esque voices in Japan, too, at the time, but they were easily crushed for appearing "sympathetic to the enemy," just as Congressman Paul was "crushed" (according to the major papers) by Giuliani a few months ago for pointing out the fact that we are despised not for our tremendous freedom and wealth, but for our policies and actions abroad.

And the similarities with Imperial Japan do not stop there. After the debate, Ron Paul was interviewed by Fox News, who attacked him on moral grounds for not supporting our numerous interventions around the globe. We have the moral obligation to stop tyrants, they argued.

This "duty to civilize the world" is of course something we are used to hearing, and is part of the legacy we inherited from the British. But it was also an important feature of the Japanese Pan-Asian ideology, which disguised Japan’s particularistic geo-political goals in universalistic moral terms, and transformed nationalist sentiment into an anti-Western, Pan-Asiatic internationalism. The commentator on Fox News, however, is of course unaware of this distinction; for him, there is no difference between the particularistic goals of the United States and the “universal good.”

Thumbing through the last volume of the Cambridge History of Japan, I was recently struck by another similarity to our present American predicament. It appears that there were two strains in Japan’s political discourse at the time -- one that advocated the immediate and violent expansion of Japanese power (today’s neoconservative doctrine), and the other which advocated a somewhat more polite expansion through the use of what Harvard professor Joseph Nye calls “soft power,” which is what we saw, with several notable exceptions, in the Clinton administration.

But the parallel with America lies here: By the mid-1930s there were nearly no influential voices left in Japan to oppose the very notion of "expansion." Like the American politicians today, the Japanese leaders of the period never questioned the legitimacy of their expansion. It was their "manifest destiny," and the only debate was about how it could be best achieved. I am afraid we're at that point in America today.

For Japan, the problem was that as its empire soaked in deeper throughout Asia and resistance began to mount, they could no longer afford to utilize their softer methods of influence, which had in early decades served them relatively well. More and more, war became Japan's only way of doing business. Today, America is facing a very similar crisis, and it seems the only candidate aware of this ― and bothered by it ― is the conservative, Ron Paul.

By contrast, John McCain, still clinging to the absurdity that they hate us because we're rich and free (I don't know about the rest of Americans, but I'm barely staving off starvation with peanut butter and tofu), now brazenly advocates a broader Mideast war, proving himself to be the most misguided among our misguided Senators. Though a Hillary, Giuliani or an Obama will probably fare no better, a McCain presidency would likely be a most disastrous thing for both the entire Mideast (Israel included) and us. I should remind us all that there are far greater things to fear than being called a “p--sy.”

On Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1917)

今日は、T・S・エリオットの評論『伝統と個人の才能』(Tradition and the Individual Talent、1919年)を巡って短いアーティクルを書きました。興味があるならぜひ読んでいただけたらと思います。

"To divert interest from the poet to the poetry is a laudable aim,” T.S. Eliot declares in his acclaimed essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1917). In the essay Eliot reintroduces the notion of the inconspicuous artist―- the old classical interpretation of the artist-as-mirror―- which went out of fashion in the early Romantic period and was replaced with a radically new view that placed the author’s interior life at center. The points made in Eliot’s essay soon became some of the key concepts of the Formalist critics, particularly the New Critics, who advocated a kind of criticism that, to quote Eliot, “is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry.” Eliot later distanced himself from New Criticism, calling it “the lemon-squeezer school of criticism” and referring to their work as “bogus scholarship.” Nevertheless, his influence on their method of analysis, whether intended or not, is palpably evident.

The critic should avoid excessive attention to the poet, Eliot explains, because “no poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone . . . you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. . . as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism.” According to Eliot, facts about the poet’s public or personal life will lead nowhere, since the mind of the tradition is “much more important than his own private mind.” The poet’s task, then, is to become a “finely perfected medium in which special, or very varied, feelings are at liberty to enter into new combinations,” rather than to become the discoverer and expressor of new emotions. The artist’s proper goal, Eliot declares, should be the “continual extinction of personality,” not its development and expression.

If the artist's objective is the dissolution of personality, what then is left to create the art? Addressing this problem, Eliot goes on to clarify what he sees as the distinction between “the man” and “the poet.” Casting doubt on the “theory of the substantial unity of the soul,” he argues that men―- or at least men of artistic inclination―- are divided into two separate and conflicting entities, “man” and “poet.” Since the personality, emotional life, feelings, and so forth of “the man” disappear in the works of the great poets, biographical consideration has no place in assessing the work of art. Though “the man” himself may have a personality, in his art he must either subdue or transform it, in order that he may function only as a medium “in which impressions and experiences combine in peculiar and unexpected ways.”

Thus, the task of the poet, Eliot concludes, is ultimately the escape from the self. “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality.” In typical Eliot fashion, he ends the section with a concession, perhaps a subtle admission that his argument is a tad polemic and overstated. He concedes that these subjective aspects of “the man,” whose destruction he has here been advocating, are indeed the starting point of art. “But, of course,” he writes, “only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

For Eliot's full essay, see: Van Nostrand, Albert D., ed. Title Literary criticism in America. Imprint New York, Liberal Arts Press [1957].>

William Wordsworth’s "Tintern Abbey"

This just in from Cnivas Albinus:
Oddly enough, exactly five summers have passed since I first read the following:
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winter! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.

William Wordsworth was twenty-eight when he wrote his "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" five years after first visiting the abbey; I will be twenty-eight this month. And, just as the narrator of the poem, gazing upon on the familiar “steep and lofty cliffs,” notices how he has changed over the past five years, I, too, rereading Wordsworth's poem, have become aware of the changes―at least the changes in how I read poetry― that have occurred in me. For one, I no longer experience the “dizzy raptures” that I once felt “when first I came among these [Wordsworth's] hills.” This waning of affect could be due to age― to a “growing out” of the Romantic phase― or to the fact that I no longer read the Romantics under the influence of any stimulant (a practice common among literature-majors).

First, so long as there are metropolises, there will also be its discontents, and for them it is the Romantics who will always be there to console their city-wearied nerves. Bohemians, rustics, hippies and primitivists, each sick of the city’s culture and its artifice, and of its unctuous citizenry, all long for that pre-Lapsarian state where dirt, bugs, weeds and, depending on their mood, either solitude or likeminded company can still be found. It is this idealized hinterland that the Romantic poets, addressing these bands, eternally sing of, and it is to this “natural state” that they unfavorably compare the city, with its “evil tongues,” its “rash judgments,” and its “sneers of selfish men,” who trade “greetings where no kindness is.” Such is the “dreary intercourse of daily life” in the city, and it is from the lonely, crowded and corrupt metropolis that the hermit-poets, Wordsworth’s narrator included, flee. Yet even in their longed-for forests and underground caves, they cannot shake the fever of the city:
. . . amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart (51-4)

Second, so long as there is the trauma of youth’s transformation to adulthood, there will also be the accompanying sense of nostalgia and loss, and it is the Romantics who sing most precisely of this loss. The “I” of Wordsworth’s poem, looking out at the abbey, is concerned not with any changes in the physical appearance of the scene, but rather only with the changes he has endured over these five years.
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I cam among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers. (66-69)

As a boy, he sought in nature only adventure and simple pleasures. But now he is
. . . more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.― I cannot paint
What then I was. (70-76)

After a failed attempt to convey in words at least some of the impressions of his youth, the narrator, in an admission of defeat, concludes, “I cannot paint/ What then I was.” This startlingly simple, powerful statement offers perhaps the most moving moment of the entire poem, and seems to serve as the work’s climax, as it marks the narrator’s resignation to the incontrovertible fact that he is no longer the boy that he was, but is now, to borrow a phrase from John Ashbery, a “stinking adult”― in this case, a world-weary hermit fleeing the capital. Having entered this new realm of experience, he is no longer able to access or recreate, either in art or life, that world he once inhabited.

This drastic transformation of the subject is in stark contrast to the abbey and its surrounding scene, both of which seem to have an existence that is permanent and immutable. The abbey, of course, need not be an abbey; it could be any scene― to the narcissistic Romantic poets, all outer things are but mirrors in which they see their own reflections. His sister, who appears in the last section of the poem, is another case in point. Her function― both in the poem and in the life of the narrator― is to serve only as an intermediary between the narrator’s past and present selves. She has no independent existence, or if she does, the narrator is obviously not interested. Since he cannot paint or sufficiently recall what he once was, he uses his sister as a mirror with which he can better view himself:
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! (120-121)

He then, in his own oddly narcissistic way, attempts to console her.
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! (143-146)

To paraphrase: If you’re ever ill or troubled in the future, you will at least have many memories of me and my lofty thought to console you.

Though I’m not sure whether Wordsworth had read Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790) when he wrote “Tintern Abbey,” he certainly seems familiar with the main points of Kant’s argument. The narrator likens the child’s experience to the pure, disinterested aesthetic experience described by Kant in his third critique― namely, that pure aesthetic judgment involves neither fixed concepts nor any personal interest in the aesthetic object. Kant’s influence seems most apparent in the following lines, particularly in the phrases, "a remoter charm," "thought supplied," and "interest unborrowed." The narrator’s pure, animal-like experiences as a child, he recalls,
. . . had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye. (81-3)

I suspect that Kant would find this an inappropriate use of his argument, and that he would admit no similarities between the instinctual perceptions of the child and the processes of pure aesthetic judgment, which require the complex, simultaneous manipulation of the imagination, the understanding, and a refined sensory awareness.

Just when the narrator is about drown in self-pity at his loss, the tone suddenly shifts as he gives himself a good slap in the face:
Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. (85-88)

That compensation lies is his two newly acquired abilities: to experience nature symbolically rather than only instinctively, and to be consoled by its anthropomorphic powers.
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. (91-93)

Having acquired this faculty of a matured imagination, he is now capable of “elevated thoughts,” of synthesizing subjective and objective realities, and of “a sense sublime/ Of something far more deeply interfused” (95-96). Now an adult, he can simultaneously experience the worlds of nature and of man as interfused through his matured mind. Echoing Berkeley, he even posits that perhaps all external phenomena reside only “in the mind of man” (99). But he immediately rejects this “subjective idealism” in favor of a compromise that resembles Kant’s notion of the human mind-as-waffle-iron, which receives through the sensory apparatuses the external, formless, and independent “batter” of phenomena, and orders it into a predetermined structure that the mind is capable of comprehending.
. . . of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,― both what they half create,
And what perceive. (105-107)

Thus, beginning with Wordsworth, the Romantics see the experience of reality as a volitional and participatory act, filtered through subjective mind where it is then reconstructed by the imagination, which has at its core not intellect but feeling. In seeking to order the “batter” that it perceives, the mind actively participates in reality, seeking to “connect/ The landscape with the quiet of the sky” (7-8, italics mine).

Though there are aspects of Romantic poetry that modern readers find hard to digest, we are, especially in America, for better or worse, still living in the final stages of the Romantic era. The claims put forth by the early Romantics― the primacy of feeling over reason; the assertions of the self’s primacy, and the subordination of everything else to it; the disdain for the city and the extolling of all things provincial; the positioning of sincerity above artifice; the low status given to technique; the naïve assertions of the artist’s own individuality and genius; the contempt for tradition― all of these early assertions, which were at the time reactions to certain historical conditions, have in present-day America been pushed to their logical conclusions. Yet, despite all the faults we may find in Romantic works, one does not wish that the Romantic Movement had never occurred. The movement had to occur, both in its historical and artistic forms, just as Modernism had to occur as a reaction to Romanticism. And for many reasons― most important of which are perhaps the freedom of form to which they have imparted us, and the creation of the new genre, poetry-as-epistemology―we are grateful that it did.