Friday, February 29, 2008

On Rereading (Nabokov)

Here is what I have always known, yet I have often forgotten in practice:

Curiously enough, one cannot READ a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. (Nabokov)

Read it until the work turns into a painting.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


In Eureka this month (the March 2008 issue) that appeared today is a tri-alogue between myself, Tadashi Wakashima, and Kazuki Sakuraba, who has recently been awarded the Naoki Prize for fiction. The article is titled "From World Literature to Literature World." This was the editor's idea and I don't really know what it means... I'd probably throw in a hyphen and make it "Literature-World." Whatever.

Some books arrived from France (via Germany) and elsewhere:

204. Philippe Claudel, Le Café de l'Excelsior (Poche)
205. Philippe Claudel, La petite fille de Monsieur Linh (Poche)
206. Philippe Claudel, Quelques-uns des cent regrets (Folio)
207. Philippe Claudel, J'abandonne (Folio)
208. Stéphane Audeguy, La théorie des nuages (Folio)
209. Nimrod, Les jambes d'Alice (Actes Sud)
210. Dona Haraway, When Species Meet (U of Minnesota P)
211. 小沼純一編『武満徹 対談選』(ちくま学芸文庫)
212. 坂部恵『かたり』(ちくま学芸文庫)
213. 市村弘正『敗北の二十世紀』(ちくま学芸文庫)
214. ネルソン・グッドマン『世界制作の方法』(ちくま学芸文庫)
215. 北村・宮部編『名短篇、ここにあり』(ちくま文庫)
216. 川上未映子『先端で、さすわさされるわそらええわ』(青土社)
217. 川上未映子『乳と卵』(文藝春秋)

And it's spring. Enjoy.

Both 208 and 209 were recommended to me by Jérôme from L'Institut. Look so interesting, too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gathering Like a Powwow

Days are obviously getting longer. What a relief.

186. Nick Hornby, A Long Waydown (Penguin)
187. Nick Hornby, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt (Believer Books)
188. Nick Hornby, Slam (Putnum)
189. Dave Eggers ed., The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 (Houghton Mifflin)
190. André Bazin, Jean Renoir (trans., Halsey and Simon, Da Capo)
191. Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace (Vintage)
192. José Saramago, Journey to Portugal (Harvill)
193. Gail Sakurai, Japanese American Internment Camps (Scholastic)
194. スティーヴン・ベラー『世紀末ウィーンのユダヤ人』(桑名映子訳、刀水書房)
195. 鈴木一誌『重力のデザイン』(青土社)
196. 鈴木一誌『ページと力』(青土社)
197. 鈴木一誌『画面の誕生』(みすず書房)
198. 石川九楊ほか『デザインのことば』(左右社)
199. 菊池良生『図解雑学ハプスブルク家』(ナツメ社)
200. 上山安敏『フロイトとユング』(岩波書店)
201. 上山安敏『神話と科学』(岩波現代文庫)
202. 上山安敏『魔女とキリスト教』(講談社学術文庫)
203. 上山安敏『科学と宗教』(岩波書店)

Some homeworks to be done...

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Election Day

This has been a big election day at our university, that of the chancellor. Later, I dropped in at Sanseido in Jinbocho and bought some, related to some of my upcoming writings.

181. Tim Flannery, We Are the Weather Makers (Penguin)
182. 柴谷篤弘『構造主義生物学』(東京大学出版会)
183. 北野宏明+竹内薫『したたかな生命』(ダイヤモンド社)
184. ヴェルナー・フロイント『オオカミと生きる』(今泉みね子訳、白水社)
185. 粕谷知世『ひなのころ』(中公文庫)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Spring Wind

An incredibly strong western wind brought yellow sands from the continent and our visibility was reduced to about 1 kilometer this afternoon. Just before that, before noon, we had a spell of warm southern wind which was declared to be "haru ichiban" (the first of spring, literally). Weather is great. I can't get enough of it!

178. エイミー・ベンダー『わがままなやつら』(角川書店)
179. アントワーヌ・ベルマン『他者という試練』(みすず書房)
180. 宮地尚子編『性的支配と歴史』(大月書店)

178 is my own translation of the second collection of short stories by Aimee Bender. 179 I received from an editor friend, a foundational text in this field (translation studies). 180 is based on a seminar held at Hitotsubashi University which I missed out as I was in NZ at that time.

179 has a Friedrich painting on the cover, 180 a Gauguin. Oh, books. What are you?

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Sparkling Evening

It's been such a warm day... in the evening had supper with two old friends, one from NYC and the other from DC, in Ginza. Just to see how each of us has aged? Ja, ja.

175. Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye (New Directions)
176. Muriel Spark, Robinson (New Directions)
177. John Updike, Terrorist (Ballantine)

I didn't know that Muriel Spark had a Robinson story...itself a staple genre in literary history. With her charming style, it must be fun.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Awakening to History

Is this a full moon night? The air is filled with spring...

173. 樺山紘一『ルネサンスと地中海』(中公文庫)
174. 関川夏央『現代短歌そのこころみ』(集英社文庫)

History is the best cure for any personal adversities. Happy reading.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Annie Get Your Camera!

After watching the wonderful, moving documentary film on the life and work of Annie Leibovitz, this is a welcome addition to my coffee table:

172. Annie Leibovitz, A Photographer's Life 1990-2005 (Random House)

She is super!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuesday Evening

Got two books:

170. 西成彦『エクストラテリトリアル』(作品社)
171. 羽田正『東インド会社とアジアの海』(講談社)

170 is by the comparatist who has been my guiding spirit in the area... 171 seems to be a very interesting history of European expansion into Asia. The first step to a globalized world.

And the moon is shining in the sky...

Monday Morning

After a long, restless weekend I received a new crop of strangely assorted books:

159. Cynthia Kadohata, Cracker (Simon and Schuster)
160. Skenazy and Martin eds., Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston (Mississippi UP)
161. Gordon and Okihiro eds., Drothea Lange: Impounded (Norton)
162. Hicks et al. eds., The Literature of California (UC Press)
163. Maxine Hong Kingston, To be the Poet (Harvard UP)
164. Wenying Xu, Eating Identities (U of Hawaii P)
165. Donna Haraway, The Haraway Reader (Routledge)
166. J.F. Sowa, Conceptual Structures (Addison Wesley)
167. Eric Gans, The Scenic Imagination (Stanford)
168. クリスチャン・オステール『待ち合わせ』(宮林寛訳、河出書房新社)
169. 『建築の記憶』カタログ(東京都庭園美術館)

169 is an exhibition catalog that's unusually interesting. With incredibly accmplished photographs by Yasuhiro Ishimoto and Naoya Hatakeyama, along with a refreshing vision of Risaku Suzuki.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Third Brain

The final day of this year's entrance exam related work... Phew. Picked up some books afterward. Now I get some chunks of time!

153. Howard Sounes, Seventies (Pocket Books)
154. Bruce Stewart, James Joyce (Oxford)
155. Rachel Carson, Under the Sea-Wind (Penguin Classics)
156. 伝田光洋『第三の脳』(朝日出版社)
157. ニコラス・ハンフリー『内なる目』(紀伊國屋書店)
158. 下鶴大輔監修『火山に強くなる本』(山と渓谷社)

Of particular importance is 156 which I believe is ASTOUNDING. The skin as a third brain, the touch as the basis of our judgment. Right on the mark!

Friday, February 15, 2008

On a Night Like This

Still walking past the deadline, deadman walking, zombie writing begins. To cheer up a little I bought the immer good-humoured fellow's talks with friends... and a case of désespoir.

151. 吉田健一『吉田健一対談集成』(講談社文芸文庫)
152. フロイト『幻想の未来/文化への不満』(中山元訳、光文社古典新訳文庫)

Nakayama's Freud translation is awesome... the kind of work I would have wanted to do.

Now a half of february's gone and I feel as if I was left behind.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Mathematics

In high school I was very bad at math, as I didn't put any time into it. To this day I am bad at math, or rather, I know practically nothing about it. Now is the time to overcome this deficit. Now or never. Thus:

148. 石山たいら・大上丈彦『マンガでわかる微分積分』(サイエンス・アイ新書)
149. 根上生也『人に教えたくなる数学』(サイエンス・アイ新書)
150. 桜庭一樹『ブルースカイ』(ハヤカワ文庫JA)

Much to be learned, no time to learn. Imagination morte, imaginez.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some from Powell's

This is our entrance exam week and in Japan it's a big thing. A really big thing for a university like no other occasion of the year. We at Meiji had over 100,000 applicants this year! The second largest number in Japan, only after immensely popular Waseda.

Good news, ain't it, but it keeps us busy. To overcome this hardship by intoxicating myself with new books, I ordered some to Powell's in Portland, Oregon, and a package arrived today. I love Powell's because it's located in Portland, Oregon. If it was located in Portland, Maine, maybe still I would love it nontheless. It's a solid, good bookstore.


141. Rubén Darío, Selected Writings (Penguin)
142. Gabriela Mistral, Selected Poems (Aris and Phillips)
143. Rainer Maria Rilke, Uncollected Poems (F, S & G)
144. Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Images (F, S & G)
145. Xavier Villaurrutia, Homesick for Death (SARU)
146. Shirley Geok-Lim et al., eds, Transnational Asian American Literature (Temple UP)
147. Rachel Lee, The Americas of Asian American Literature (Princeton UP)

Happy reading.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Orson Who?

Under a cold, grey rain, walking past the deadlines...

137. Karen Shimakawa, National Abjection (Duke U P)
138. Derek Attridge, J.M.Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading (U of Chicago P)
139. Scholes et al., eds., Text Book (Bedford/St.Martin's)
140. Andre Bazin, Orson Wells (Acrobat Books)

Got to take in a couple of flics to write up an essay tonight.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Two from Friends

Received books from two friends:

135. 黒田龍之助『語学はやり直せる』(角川ONEテーマ21)
136. 中沢新一・波多野一郎『イカの哲学』(集英社新書)

Mis agradecimientos and will talk about them in the near future!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

At Work All Day

Phew. It's been a long working day, and it continues. In the meantime some voices arrived:

128. Catherine Crawford ed., If You Really Want to Hear About It (Thunder's Mouth Press)
129. Kim Chernin, The Hungry Self (Harper Perennial)
130. Slavoj Zizek, ed., Lacan: the Silent Partners (Verso)
131. Slavoj Zizek, How to Read Lacan (Norton)
132. 十文字美信『感性のバケモノになりたい』(求龍堂)
133. 小柳学『宮沢賢治が面白いほどわかる本』(中経出版)
134. Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent (Harper Perennial)

133 I bought in preparation for my undergraduate seminar on Miyazawa Kenji. I'll be dedicating the seminar for a comparative study of Gary Snyder and Miyazawa.

Sanity and Diet

In search of some sanity I bought myself a heavy dose of Deleuze in translation. I have been away from him too long...

121. ドゥルーズ+クレソン『ヒューム』(合田正人訳、ちくま学芸文庫)
122. ルネ・シェレール『ドゥルーズへのまなざし』(篠原洋治訳、筑摩書房)
123. ナイオール・ルーシー『記号学を超えて』(法政大学出版局)
124. ウンベルト・エコ『中世美学史』(谷口伊兵衛訳、而立書房)
125. 川下勝『アッシジのフランチェスコ』(清水書院)
126. Gilles Deleuze, Two Regimes of Madness (Semiotexte)
127. Douglas Hofstadter, I am a Strange Loop (Basic Books)

121 I bought for a long essay by Goda which I intend to read carefully.

Time to retrieve some THINKING with Deleuze. And I mean it!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Spring Approaches

All of a sudden walking on the street and I felt the light luminous in a different phase. And then:

117. Paul Auster, The Inner Life of Martin Frost (Picador)
118. マーティン・エイモス『ジェネシス・マシン』(ギボンズ京子訳、日経BP社)
119. ハラウェイ+グッドイヴ『サイボーグ・ダイアローグズ』(高橋+北村訳、水声社)
120. 池上高志『動きが生命をつくる』(青土社)

Need more grease on my elbows...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

You Can Ring My Bell

After the snowfall, the world is shining in our part.

110. Charlotte Gray, Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention (Arcade)
111. Elizabeth MacLeod, Alexander Graham Bell (Nelvana)
112. H.D., Collected Poems: 1912-1944 (New Directions)
113. H.D., Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall, Tribute to the Angels, The Flowering of the Rod (New Directions)
114. Benjamin Péret, From the Hidden Storehouse (trans. Keith Hollaman, Oberlin College P)
115. チョン・ソンイル『キム・ギドクの世界 野生もしくは贖罪の山羊』(秋那・南裕恵訳、白夜書房)
116. 桜庭一樹『青年のための読書クラブ』(新潮社)

My Sakuraba frenzy continues... H.D. along with Marianne Moore are somewhat like a homework to me. But February really slows me down...

Think North

Snow prodded me into buying a copy of this:

109. 太宰治『津軽』(新潮文庫)

But it feels so funny to read it in this regular pocket book edition, as for me Dazai existed as texts written in "kyu kana" (old orthography). The whole atmosphere look different.

Still, with this snow outside the window, it does feel like Tsugaru in winter (my imaginary topos).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lives under the snow

Tokyo today is covered with snow... my dog was so apprehensive. Her first exposure in life to a serious snowfall.

Received a great gift from Shun'ichi Mamura, one of our foremost book designers:

108. 間村俊一画集『ジョバンニ』(洋々社)

This is FASCINATING. A series of drawings inspired by Kenji Miyazawa's stories, and surrealistic collages deftly done. As a latter-day surrealist, I think Mamura (b. 1954) is as good as anybody in the world; or simply the BEST.

In the accompanying booklet, Yasuki Fukushima writes Mamura's biography in tankas. This is also unforgattable; an incredible tour de force. I'll probably write somebody's biography as a series of four-line poems... but of whom? Moe Norman? I'd love to.

Dark already; Joyce's The Dead kind of evening. Ainsi soit-il.

City Electric

There is a full-scale supermarket by our station and beginning 1 Feb it extended its business hours to 20 hours/day. Now it's open from 5 am to 1 am next day. This is outrageous. Do we ever need such a long shopping day? Some would say "Yes," followed by "It's so convenient!"

I'd say: "Let's just give up our labour-based time chart altogether and retire into the tranquility of NIGHT."

Just by limiting the business hours of such stores we can save huge amount of electricity. And the night would be quiet, dark, beautiful, dangerous.

I am often scared to enter into a builiding where every structural function is electric/electronic. Our Liberty Tower in Ochanomizu, e.g. It's lit like a candle, and once the power is out it's nothing more than a huge tomb stone.

What bugs me about those who preach "convenience" is that such convenience is but another side of our VERY alienated labour. Let's NOT work that way!

But then I did drop in at the store at 12 midnight to buy myself a can of beer and a bag of oranges...