Thursday, December 31, 2015

All By My Lonesome

the wife's absence over the holidays has forced me to engage with the [corporeal] world in new and profound ways, including: opening cupboards; calibrating temperatures; pushing buttons; mixing cheeses/meats; transferring contents (mostly between vessels); knifing plastic; interacting with coarse/ill-mannered locals; lifting levers; etc.... I dare say I'm well on my way to mastering my physical environment and achieving full autonomy as modern male subject.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Announcement→Orikuchi Shinobu's *The Book of the Dead* Translated by Jeffrey Angles, Commentary by Ando Reiji

From Minnesota University Press (@UMinnPress): Purchase here.

 The first complete English translation of a Japanese literary masterpiece
The first complete English translation of Orikuchi Shinobu’s masterwork, The Book of the Dead is a sweeping historical romance telling a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Readers will soon discover that a great deal lies hidden beneath the surface of the story; the entire text is a modernist mystery waiting to be decoded.
At once a work of innovative fiction, written in an evocative and poetic style, as well as a remarkably astute recreation of the natural, mental and spiritual world of Japan’s ancient civilization, The Book of the Dead, long recognized as a modern classic in that country, is now widely accessible for the first time to readers everywhere, thanks to this eloquent translation by Jeffrey Angles. Orikuchi’s work will prove fascinating to any reader with an attraction to literature, anthropology, psychology, or history. There is no other work quite like it in the whole modern Japanese canon.

J. Thomas Rimer, University of Pittsburgh 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

RIP Grandpa Cigar (1928-2015) 孫による追悼

Grandpa Cigar, son of sole surviving member of Shaldjian clan slaughtered by Turks in 1915, orphan, veteran (of US Occupation of Japan not the war), amateur artist/painter, founder of Carpetland, inveterate gambler and womanizer, connoisseur of grapefruits and garlic, principled tax evader, owner of several underground illegal gambling joints, and all-around great Grandpa, passed away last night。


One of his best qualities was that he always called his friends by their ethnic/tribal affiliation, often using the derogatory term:"my Italian [or Goombah] friend Lorenzo," "my Negro [or N-word] friend Larry," "my Jew friend Josh," "my Jap friend Yoshi," "my Pollack friend Leslaw," "my Indian friend Rumi," "my Palestinian friend Aheed," "my Armenian friend Harry," "my Greek friend Takis," "my Mexican friend Juan," "my Zionist friend Danny" [he always distinguished between his non- or post-Zionist Jew friends and his Zionist friends], etc. (For some reason he never had any white friends.) Unlike his male friends, his lady friends transcended their tribal / ethnic affiliations:for him all women were "broads." Also: in his later years he liked nothing more than to talk about "the Jews." 

His favorite song was Yamaguchi Yoshiko's 山口淑子 "Shina no yoru" 支那之夜 (Night in China; 1940), which he learned in 1946 in Tokyo and sang until his death。