My cheating on Mandarin with Japanese seems to have gone whole hog. (I just finished Junichiro Tanizaki's The Key
in English translation, so cheating is on my mind
) Yesterday I finished another engaging novel translated from Japanese called *The Nakano Thrift Ship* by Hiromi Kawakami (a lady rather well known if not to me). Something along the lines of The Old Curiosity Shop
(except I've never read The Old Curiosity Shop
) full of interesting characters and with a tender and painful love story involving the narrator.
When I was investigating Mandarin, Iguanamon suggested using the Mandarin Bible as a resource. Now that I hope to use haiku as a bulwark of my initial learning, I wonder whether short poems, or only short poems, are the way to go. Then I remember Iguanamon's suggestion and successfully hunt up a Japanese Bible
because the Bible has a whole book devoted to poetry, Psalms, and all or nearly all are longer than either haiku or tanka. If memory serves, the Song of Solomon is also a poem.
Japanese poetry does include works longer than haiku or tanka. If anyone reading this has a suggestion, please let me know.
Currently I am also reading a family drama about divorce by Euripides called Medea
. On the Latin front, I have not got anywhere past the first sentence with Ovem Occidere Mimicam
. In Spanish I checked out from the library a translated volume of Tanizaki's stories called Cuentos de amor
. I'm also thinking of reviving my Old Norse, at least to the extent of re-reading "Hrafnkels saga freysgoða," a great story for any language. A passage I read in Medea
today made me think of it. There is a convenient copy of it in E. V. Gordon's An Introduction to Old Norse
, rev 2nd ed by A. R. Taylor (London 1974). Along with some other interesting bits of Old Norse lit.
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.