Thursday, February 26, 2015

Peter Medak's The Ruling Class (1972)

Today's recommended viewing: Peter Medak's The Ruling Class (1972), based on Peter Barnes' 1968 play of the same name;starring Peter O'Toole (in full;w/ quality subtitles; Criterion Collection blurb)。

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

John Huston's Wise Blood (1979)

This is worth watching just on account of the sentences→John Huston's Wise Blood (1979;Criterion Collection blurb:, based on Flannery O'Connor's 1952 novel of the same name。 Example sentences: "You broken him and he was mine!";"I'm going somewheres"; "I knew when I first seen you that you didn't have nobody or nothin' but Jesus"; "You quit feelin' that my leg with yours!";"Jesus is a trick on niggers";"Tell him how you blinded yourself for Jesus and show him that clipping you not";"Nothin' matters but that Jesus Christ was a liar!";"Where you come from is gone; where you thought you were going to weren't never there; and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it";"You might as well be one of them monks, you might as well live in a in a monkery";etc。

And here is Yale University's Amy Hungerford's two lectures on O'Connor's Wise Blood

Thursday, February 19, 2015

U of Tokyo Event with Takahashi Gen'ichirō

わたくしはこんな風に高橋さんの作品「さよならクリストファー・ロビン」を解釈しているのですがそれは正しい解釈ですかと聞いたら正しいですと言った瞬間の写真です;pics from tonight's talk and after-party with novelist Takahashi Gen'ichirō; many thanks to Hirano Kei'ichirō and the good people of Iidabashi Literary Club for inviting me! In the closeup, Takashi-san is responding to my query about whether my interpretation of his story "Goodbye Christopher Robin" (click here for study guide) is correct; "that is a correct interpretation," he told me;he also signed my copy of his recent collection of stories: "Thanks to Morrison-sensei for translating 'Demon-Beasts' [click here for study guide]。"


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ken Loach's Riff-Raff (1991)

Although I no longer associate directly with riff-raff working-class types (now that I'm full-time/tenured), I do still very much sympathize with their plight; here is a great movie about UK riff-raff, by Ken Loach。The film was apparently inspired in part by painter/cartoonist/social critic/outsider William Hogarth (1697-1764)。[Study Guide forthcoming]

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971)

Today's recommended viewing:Nicolas Roeg's 1971 classic Walkabout, starring the lovely Jenny Agutter: here for the Criterion Collection blurb。Study guide forthcoming。

Ozu Yasujirō's Equinox Flower (Higanbana, 1958)

today's recommended viewing→Ozu Yasujirō's Equinox Flower (Higanbana, 1958; in full; Italian subtitles; can't find English subtitles)。Click here for Criterion Collection blurb。Surely the saddest film ever made about the end of the patriarchy/the paternal authority;I cried repeatedly。Study guide forthcoming。家父長の終焉についてこんなに切なく悲しく見事にに描かれている映画は他にないだろう。小津安二郎の名作『彼岸花』(1958)。

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ozu Yasujiro's 1932 masterpiece: "I Was Born, But..." (大人の見る絵本・生れてはみたけれど)

Today's recommended viewing: Ozu Yasujiro's early masterpiece "I Was Born, But..." (大人の見る絵本・生れてはみたけれど; 1932).

The black-and-white silent film is about two young brothers who come to the realizations that (1) everybody's somebody's bitch and (2) cash rules everything around [them]。

From the Criterion Collection (in full;with quality subtitles)。Study Guide forthcoming。

Monday, February 9, 2015

Third Place / 第三の場所

都内に住む既婚男にとって居場所は2つあり。自宅と職場オフィス。だがそれ以外の第三の場所(third place)が必要である(『雪国』の島村にとっての越後湯沢温泉のような)。昔は妾宅やトルコ風呂などの選択肢があったが現在ではそれは世間的に許され難い模様。しかし職場にも自宅にも居たくない時が生じることは昔と変わらず、第三の場所の必要性は依然としてある。何か提案がありましたら教えて下さい。In the old days married men of my class (the leisure class) had a "third place" to go when they wanted to get away from both home/wife and work (e.g. a mistress's apartment, Turkish bath, the salon, an onsen hotel in Niigata, etc.);today such places no longer exist;where is a man to go these days fora "third place"?;suggestions welcome....

Update→Thank you readers for the 12 suggestions! I shall now rank them in order of preference! (1) a dacha (別荘) [can be converted to a 妾宅 fairly easily];(2) Haru's dog house [excellent place to reflect on my salad days;and I get along well with Shiba-inus];(3) the space that is vacated after all my semicolons are removed ['cause it's such a weird suggestion; and 'cause I use a lot of semicolons!];4) my mind [not much fun here; it's what we're trying to escape];(5) a tent [might work in spring/summer];(6) an allotment [had to look this one up; low feasibility];(7) den w/ bookshelves [have this already; not a third space];(8) crawl-space under the stairs [too cramped, bad for my anal fissure];(9) attic [I fear the dark/roaches/bugs];(10) closet 押入れ [likely too cramped, bad for anal fissure];(11) marriage counselor [never];(12) kitchen [I sometimes avail myself of this place for procuring drinking water]。

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our Literature Is in Great Shape: Translator Motoyuki Shibata Discusses Contemporary Japanese Fiction

Ignition interview with Prof Shibata Motoyuki on the state of J-lit; with an extended quote from my Furukawa Hideo translation!

My wife has recently developed a terrible habit of speech

昔は余り耳にすることが無かった気がしますが最近の女房の口癖で終助詞の「じゃん」の汎用。教養無きギャルのように聞こえ大変耳障りだがどうしても止めさせる術が見つからぬ。どうしたらいいですか皆さん?使う度に罰金とか?それか体罰?My wife has recently developed a terrible habit of speech; I can't get her to stop; it's a final particle that only low-life scum-people (to borrow a term used recently by my friend John McCain to refer to my friend Medea Benjamin) use;any suggestions? should I fine her each time she uses it? corporal punishment?...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

One of the Challenging Things

One of the challenging things about being a world-famous blogger of Jpn literature is that I am obliged to teach not only my university students but also the world;today I got this mail from Ver---- in Italy:"Dear Beholdmyswarthyface (I don't know your name), I'm a student of Japanese Literature at Orientale University (Naples-Italy). I was reading your Study Guide of "In Praise of Shadows,” but I'm not so sure that I can answer to all of your questions. Could you give me some help or hints? Thank you for your consideration." Very time-consuming having to teach the whole world... but I will try to answer as soon as I can find the time...

Grandmother Reads Nakamura Fuminori's "Last Winter, We Parted" (2013); Review Forthcoming...

Grandmother called today; said she's reading Nakamura Fuminori's Last Winter, We Parted (2013) and wanted to know if I'd heard of him;"Heard of him," I replied, "I see him every month at Hirano Kei'ichiro's Iidabashi Literary Club!"; she was very excited to hear this, and promised to write a review when finished。今日うちのお祖母ちゃんから電話があった。「中村文則の小説『去年の冬、きみと別れ』を今英訳(Last Winter, We Parted)で読んでいるが聞いたことがあるかい」と聞かれた。「聞いたことあるどころか毎月飯田橋文学会でお会いしているよ」と教えたらお祖母ちゃんは大喜びした。「読み終わったら書評を書きお送りします」と言っていた。

Monday, February 2, 2015

1904 English translation of Tokutomi Roka's Hototogisu (1898-1899)

Title: Nami-ko: A Realistic Novel; original Japanese: 『不如帰』
Author: Tokutomi Roka 徳冨 蘆花 (1868-1927)
Translators: Sakae Shioya and E. F. Edgett
Year of Publication 1904.
Publisher: Boston: Herbert B. Turner

Click here to read the novel in the original Japanese (、).

Thanks to @nightvespersfor forwarding me the link。