10 January 2007

I could feel at the time...

The book I'm currently working my through as most of you know, is Death in Midsummer by Yukio Mishima. If you saw how small the book is, you'd be asking me why it's taking so long. It's a book of short stories, that has been translated from the original Japapnese.

I was sitting on our stairs this morning trying to get through one of the more painful stories called Patriotism.

While I was sitting there, I questioned why I was reading this.
Having a deep love for the Japanese culture is one.
I wanted to read Mishama because he has always interested me as well.
Years ago, we came across a photo book, and always admired the grahic black and white photos and the look and feel of it as well.

Mishima was a force of nature. He may have been insane. I don't think I can even try to summerize his life so here is the wikipedia entry.

He is old style Japanese. Meaning everything is very well thought out, and not just a half thought. The stories he has written are very powerful, and read like a mini movie. They are very intense. Sometimes he comes off as a cold writer. Maybe that is the translation. Maybe that's his way, being distant.

The story Patriotism is about a young Lieutenant who commits seppuku and his beautiful wife who watches and then kills herself as well.

Not the most positive read, but beautifully written. The pain intense and almost unbearable.

I have 3 more stories to read. Wish me luck.


Lilly said...

Good luck! I haven't read a book in ages. It's making me sad. I don't feel that I have the time to sit down and just read -- or perhaps it's because I don't allow myself the time to sit down and just read. There's always stuff that needs doing when I am off work. Sigh.

Translation: a tricky thing. Language is a translation in itself, is it not? A translation of how we each perceive the world around us? Or maybe not. Too much red wine for me tonight I think. Anyway, operating in two languages on a daily basis, I am constantly amazed at certain phrases or expressions that just do not translate...something is always lost....weird but extremely fascinating too. I love language[s]. I wish I had the time to 'refresh' my German in the evening or something; taking evening classes...some day, I hope. And French. I want to learn French. I only did it for a year in school and it's all gone. Long gone.

paintergirl said...

Lilly-I have been through those spells too. But they will come back to you when you get time. Usually I end up flipping through magazines because that's all I get time for.

I bet translating books is tricky. You are such a smartie to be able to.I can imagine how local phrases, that sort of thing get missed. German, French, I bet you get by in the Netherlands. What about Italian? I would love to speak french and italian myself.

JC said...

I've never read any Mishima. I've found that it's hard for me to read for pleasure while I'm in school, there's too much reading for my classes to have any time left unfortunately. Good luck!

paintergirl said...

jc-funny how books and school don't go together. One would think they should go hand in hand. I remember when I was in school and I couldn't wait to read for pleasure. Now I set all this strange rules on myself.

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