Mabel is right, this will be a huge project and we need to strategize. But I think it would be a mistake to limit ourselves to criticism. I say we break up into several groups: Mabel can be in charge of criticism, and I'll oversee the translations of the Ken'yūsha writers. Here's the first batch of stories (and one essay) we should translate:
1. Yamada Bimyō, Musashino (1887)
2. Ozaki Kōyō, Kenyūsha no enkaku (1901)
3. Iwaya Sazanami, Koganemaru (1891)
4. Hirotsu Ryūrō, Imado shinjū (1896)
5. Izumi Kyōka, Giketsu kyōketsu (1894)
6. Miyazawa Kenji, Yamaotoko no shigatsu (first published in 1924)
7. Hori Tatsuo, Arano (first published in 1977)
8. Oguri Fūyō, Arakawa nyōbō (1905)
9. Yanagawa Shunyō, Seidōki (1909)
-Burt "JLANDER" Haliscaster
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hello. Sorry for not writing these past few months. Things have been pretty hectic here in Dublin. Anyway, I saw your recent post about translating everything available on Aozora Bunko. Great idea. But you're going to need a strategy, because there's soooo much there. I say start with works of criticism. I've made a list of the first 13. You and Sally can figure out who gets what. Maybe you can get Boyd to help. I'd be happy to help if you need me (although my Japanese is still not that great.) Here's the list:
2. Yamaji Aizan, "Rai Noboru o ronzu" (1893)
3. Kitamura Tōkoku, "Jinsei ni aiwataru to wa nan no ii zo" (1893)
4. Masaoka Shiki, "Utayomi ni atauru sho" (1898)
5. Takayama Chogyū, "Biteki seikatsu o ronzu" (1901)
6. Tsunashima Ryōsen, "Yo ga kenshin no jikken" (1905)
12. Arishima Takeo, "Sengen hitotsu" (1916)
Best regards,Mabel Callahan
I finished editing the next installment of your play, and sent it to the boys at Neojaponisme. As you know, they have a rule against double-postings, so I can't post it here. What I can do, however, is post the I-speech version of the play, as a sample.
-Sally Suzuki, Beholdmyswarthyface Media Director
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
友人のBeholdmyswarthyfaceさんが最近MIXIから亡くなったことに気づきました。[Note: We think his being banned might have had something to do with his involvement in a certain community on Mixi. We are currently drafting a petition to allow him back. -Sally Suzuki]
Thought I should let you know you're mentioned in this dude's recent blog post. The dude also translates Walt Whitman's "Behold This Swarthy Face" into Japanese.
Whitman's original (1900):Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes,
This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck,
My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm;
Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly
on the lips with robust love,
And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship's deck give a
kiss in return,
We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea,
We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.
The dude's translation (2009):この浅黒い顔を見よ、この灰色の目を、Not half bad. I did, however, take the liberty of replacing his 「無関心」 with 「ノ ンシャラン」, which seems closer to the original "nonchalant." (If you're thinking, "duh," I should remind you of the fallacy of translingual homographic equivalency). I hope the dude doesn't mind.
P.S. Oh, and this for the blind:
Friday, November 20, 2009
This just in from Sally Suzuki:
I've spent the last two nights updating the encyclopedia, so have a look. I've also added a new feature: links to online texts of those writers included in Aozora Bunko. Now our viewers can start getting used to reading the texts in the original. As for our Aozora Bunko English translation project, I'll send you an update next week.
Also, I was hoping our readers could send some suggestions for items to add. David Boyd suggested last night that we add the famous Kokoro ronsō between Komori Yōichi and Nakamura Miharu to our list of major literary ronsō. Thanks for the suggestion, Boyd. If anyone else has something they'd like us to add, please send. Again, here's the table of contents:
- I. People (Pre- and Early Modern; Meiji/Taishō; Shōwa/Heisei) [arranged chronologically by date of birth]
- II. Publsihing Companies・Newspapers・Journals and Magazines [arranged chronologically by date of first publication]
- III. Types of Shōsetsu [arranged alphabetically]
- IV. Major Literary Ronsō [arranged alphabetically]
- V. Literary Awards [arranged chronologically by year of first issue]
- VI. Literary Groups and Terms [arranged alphabetically]
VII. Political Groups and Movements [arranged chronologically]
- VIII. Incidents (Jiken/Jihen) [arranged chronologically]
- IX. Organizations and Institutions [arranged chronologically]Oh, and someone was handing out this JASSO newsletter yesterday in front of the embassy. Isn't that you in the first two pictures?Yours,Sally Suzuki, Beholdmyswarthyface Media DirectorP.S. And, for the blind:
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
And, for the blind:
I'm currently lobbying several government ministries and private foundations in both the U.S. and Japan for a multi-million dollar grant to translate into English the copyright-expired works available on Aozora Bunko. As you know, Aozora Bunko has several thousand works by over 500 Japanese authors, so I need you to round up 15-20 (at least!) of the best translators/bungaku specialists you can find. This is an enormous project which will likely take several years to complete.
I also need you to write a letter explaining the project's importance—how the vast diffusion of knowledge is now possible through the internet; how the project will increase the world's awareness of Japanese culture, history, and literature; how we hope eventually to post the texts on Project Gutenberg; etc.
We have little time to waste. Get on this immediately. I beseech you.
-Sally Suzuki, Beholdmyswarthyface Media Director
Thursday, November 12, 2009
W. David Marx, editor of the popular online journal Neojaponisme, has kindly invited me to post on his site the first scene of my short reference play, A History of Modern Japanese Literary Criticism. The remaining three scenes should be finished by year's end.
And, for the blind:
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Here is Beholdmyswarthyface's translation of "Urashima, The Unofficial Version," a 20-line tanka sequence by contemporary poet Ishikawa Mina 石川美南 (b. 1980). The poem is loosely based on the story of Urashima Tarō. For Ishikawa's original, click here.
(I, gray with years, close my eyes and open the box. In the box is an ancient sea.)
Drawing on memory unfurl the neatly folded sea
Catch and release, midday break lingering in the mouth is salt-breeze
Wielded by an invisible hand an angling rod snags a bale of turtles
Mulling on the soul foot tramples a shellfish graveyard
(Tuesday. Order in for boxes. Inquiry for four payments.)
I paste in the margins, but can't seem to stick with anyone
Finished with the manual I shoo away the sea anemone behind the copier
Falsetto voices call gaily from afar—Marco . . . Polo . . . here where the sea laps
(Friday. After work, the sea.)
Sighs seep from the raft, they say there's a city too at dusky sea's bottom
Into one another we swim and give, roughly 300 years in human time
(A late-night magic show on TV. On the count of three, the boxes are shred to bits, but no trace of anyone inside.)
(Monday. Took the day off to visit a far-away place.)
And so young, younger even than me—the faint coffin slides through midday
Falling behind I suck at the shellfish miso soup, shuru-shuru
By foot they come offering me a lovely container—fill it with whatever you like
Determined to outlive them all, my fingers dismantle the dice-caramels
Peeping into the jeweled comb box—the passing years of my age and youth
The sea-mess, no longer contractible, waves beat the edges of a disheveled mind
Monday, November 2, 2009
This just in from Mother:
Hi honey. Here is the Halloween picture of me dressed up as Sally Suzuki, Beholdmyswarthyface Media Director. Dad was Reginald Denny again. Nothing big this year, just dressed up and walked to Postinos for dinner.
P.S. I'm looking forward to the completion of your Beholdmyswarthyface Encyclopedia of Modern Japan. It's really coming along nicely.