Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Japanese'

Teachers – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro

October 11th, 2011 · Comments Off on Teachers – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro · Art, Culture, Japan, Japanese, Literature, Power

A teacher or mentor whom one admires greatly in early adulthood will leave his mark, and indeed, long after one has come to re-evaluate, perhaps even reject, the bulk of that man’s teachings, certain traits will tend to survive, like some shadow of that influence, to remain with one throughout one’s life… ..the way I […]

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Consolation in Failure – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro

October 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on Consolation in Failure – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro · Japan, Japanese, Literature, Philosophy

If one has failed only where others have not had the courage or will to try, there is a consolation – indeed, a deep satisfaction – to be gained from this observation when looking back over one’s life.

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Beauty – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro

October 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on Beauty – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro · Japan, Japanese, Literature, Philosophy

It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of a world when one doubts its very validity.

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One – the Floating World – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro

October 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on One – the Floating World – “An Artist of the Floating World” – Kazuo Ishiguro · Japan, Japanese, Literature, Philosophy

The best things, he always used to say, are put together of a night and vanish with the morning. What people call the floating world, Ono, was a world Gisaburo knew how to value.’

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Dying only to Quicken Again – “Spring Snow” – Yukio Mishima

August 3rd, 2011 · Comments Off on Dying only to Quicken Again – “Spring Snow” – Yukio Mishima · Japan, Japanese, Literature, Philosophy

His conviction of having no purpose in life other than to act as a distillation of poison was part of the ego of an eighteen-year-old. He had resolved that his beautiful white hands would never be soiled or calloused. He wanted to be like a pennant, dependent on each gusting wind. The only thing that […]

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Desecrate it at a Touch – “Spring Snow” – Yukio Mishima

August 2nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Desecrate it at a Touch – “Spring Snow” – Yukio Mishima · Ideology, Japan, Japanese, Literature, Progressive Politics, Prose, Writing

Dreams, memories, the sacred—they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a […]

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“The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”, Junot Diaz

November 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Japanese

Synopsis: Overweight Dominican uber-nerd battles a ‘fuku’, a Caribbean curse that has beleaguered his family across two countries and over three generations, in his quest for love and the fame of becoming “The Dominican JRR Tolkien”. My Take: Strangely enough for a recent Pulitzer Prize winner, I only heard about Junot Diaz’s “The Brief and […]

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“Spring Snow”, Yukio Mishima

August 20th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Asian, Japanese, Literature

Synopsis: Dilettante son of a nouveau-riche family seeking societal acceptance meets the refined daughter of an aristocratic family struggling to adjust to the changes in Japanese society brought on by the Meiji Restoration. A deeply intense and culturally significant story of forbidden love. My Take: “Spring Snow” is generally regarded to be Yukio Mishima’s greatest […]

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"The Elephant Vanishes", Haruki Murakami

July 2nd, 2009 · Comments Off on "The Elephant Vanishes", Haruki Murakami · Asian, Japanese, Short Stories

Synopsis: A collection of 15 of Haruki Murakami’s most surreal short stories. My Take: The Elephant Vanishes is classic Murakami – strange, whimsical, reflective and more than a little confusing. You don’t find stories based on of the disappearance of a man’s favourite elephant or a woman being haunted by a gardening, green monster in […]

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"Norwegian Wood", Haruki Murakami

June 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Asian, Japanese, Trash

Synopsis: Boy meets girl. Boy commits suicide. Boy’s best friend falls in love with girl. Girl loses grasp on reality. Boy meets another girl. Metaphysical angst ensues. My Take: The cover blurb of Norwegian Wood describes the novel thus: “When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend […]

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