mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Started Robert Holdstock's The Hollowing. I see the oddest parallels with Mushishi. Both happen in a kind of-- umm, call it mythic version of their respective countries. But it doesn't feel mythos-myth to me so much as popular image myth. An England of Morris dancers and folk customs still observed-- a Shropshire Lad sort of England: did it ever exist and if it did, when? I know Holdstock dates the books to pretty much just post-War, but was post-War England at all like that?

Like Mushishi, it feels like a conflation: 18th century elements grafted on to 20th. Mushishi is pure Edo in anything I can identify, except for Ginko himself and his button shirts and his cigarettes. Is why one thinks Mushishi happens in Meiji, because the countryside was still Edo but people did occasionally wear western clothes. But really it happens in the mythical Japan of jidai geki TV shows crossed with tourism ads that play on the furusato-longing theme. (Sun settting behind deeply wooded hills, views of thatched farmhouses and rice paddies, bento boxes with soba noodles and bright pink fish paste, plangent flute music or something sentimental from Meiji.)
Tags: holdstock, japan, mushishi, place, reading_10

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