November 11th, 2020

yoshitoshi: yorimasa

(no subject)

Transpires that misdelivered Amazon package wasn't a scam but an actual mixup. It was supposed to be a crossword book but the labels evidently got switched. Useful of- and, clearly, necessary for- the delivery types to take a photo because otherwise I wouldn't have put two and two together.

Morning lie-in dream had me at my brother's house which I think was still the other half of mine but quite different in configuration. Bro was changing the paintings on the wall as one does in a new season, but they were all virtually the same landscape except for small details. Neighbour's kid popped her (short cut dark-haired) head in at the window, rather to my surprise because we were on the second floor. Her dad came in by the door to pick her up. Neither was anyone I could identify. Bro mixed me a cocktail, which was dark green. Dreams are what I do instead of socializing these days.

Books finished?

Three slim volumes of Japanese love poetry in translation: Ten Thousand Leaves, The Ink Dark Moon, and The Burning Heart. Nice to have the Man'yoshu and its notes, though I think for once Miner did it better in the Introduction to Court Poetry. Komachi and Izumi Shikibu just don't translate well, especially out of context, which renders The Ink Dark Moon not so useful. Mind, I also finished Izumi's poetic diary in Miner's translation and find she doesn't work that well in context either. Passionate love affairs in Heian involve a great deal of moping about on her part and ridiculous jealousy on his, which rather makes one wonder why anyone bothered. And Heian poetry in general is untranslateable, so yeah.

The Burning Heart gives a nice selection of poems but Rexroth doesn't include any of the Kamakura women poets of the Kyougoku school that I rather liked.

Basho's Narrow Road in Miner's Japanese Poetic Diaries. Who also works better in Japanese and isn't quite as clever clogs with the language as the court poets.

Ovidua Yu, Meddling and Murder
-- another Auntie Lee Singaporean set mystery. Fun, but jeez the life of foreign domestic workers sucks.

Reading now?

Have to press on with Kafuka because I may not be able to renew it. Someone has a hold on it but I can't tell if it's active or not.

Brower trans., The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu
-- with copious grammatical notes and diagrams and such, all very necessary but also underlining the fact that Heian prose is clear as mud. Not fun reading.

Rexroth, A Hundred Poems from the Japanese
-- exercise bike reading, mostly to have it read

Reading next?

One book waiting at library, two more Ovidia Yus in transit, a Vinyl Detective in ebook. Shall get to them in good time but right now I have to read forty pages a day of Kafuka and as the action gets hinkier and more Murakami by the page, am not sure I want to.