Night Talk James Au Re-think the words I said a thousand times – Expel the love of what’s unreal to you – My passion, too, has been for ages tried – I sob in stealth; my moon is blue. You told me you were fetishized by sounds. Voice actors, vocaloids, idols, or actors – whoever... Continue Reading →
I Had A Dream One Night James Au I had a dream one night, in which I danced and sang with you behind a mask. Of white. Attached hard. I wish you’d take it off. But no, and thus you said, and with your heart that had at once my wishes barred. The moon was... Continue Reading →
My Symposium Of Love James Au The clock strikes twelve. But Plato’s work has yet to leave my eyes; his words imprinted on my mind: what’s love? A thing in search of bliss? In search of beauty, or both? Can one say no to love? When it is coated with a thousand lies, and in... Continue Reading →
Recurrence James Au You say hello to a stranger you don’t know. We begin with what we feel so awkward to begin. I say I ruin my spareribs. You laugh with your emojis. You send a picture of a male rabbit, whose eyes are bright, sharp and rigid. I put aside my phone and play... Continue Reading →
Joshua Senter, Still the Night Call. Roubidoux Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-7375856-0-2 (Paperback) 186 pgs. Review by James Au Today the world has been battered by a few unprecedented crises: The wave of coronavirus infection is coming one after another; Ukraine war is sparking fear for the third world war; the shortfall of energy and... Continue Reading →
By Ma I am not sure if any of our readers have taken any online courses for a certificate, especially in the times of pandemic. I came across edX, an American massive open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. So far, three sorts of language courses have been offered for potential learners to... Continue Reading →
Donald Keene and Shiba Ryōtarō (authors), Tony Gonzalez (translator), Edo Japan Encounters the World: Conversations Between Donald Keene and Shiba Ryotaro, Japan Library, 2018. 137 pgs.
I remember when I was pursuing a Master’s in Japanese literature in London, my teacher in the first modern Japanese literature class asked us to refer from time to time to Donald Keene’s voluminous—more than 1,30 pages long—Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature of the Modern Era: Fiction (1984). I was rather perplexed back then, because the size of the book was almost comparable to that of a dictionary. Now as a junior researcher, I consult it whenever I encounter an unfamiliar Japanese literary figure or work.
Shiba Ryōtarō, on the other hand, is a novelist renowned for his rekishi shōsetsu (roughly translated as “historical fiction” in English). His signature works such as Ryōma ga yuku (Ryōma Goes…
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Michel Hockx and Ivo Smith ed., Reading East Asian Writing: The Limits of Literary Theory. Routledge, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-138-86349-1 (Paperback) 299 pgs. Review by James Au I always have qualms about applying ‘western’ literary theories to any East Asian literary texts given the tremendous differences of norms and writing. At least certain adjustments are rendered... Continue Reading →
One Night of Spring James Au The night of spring had crowned the town With showers and the wind When far from home I could but frown, With nothing in my mind. My coat was as if waterproof, Embracing all the cold Until a girl who saw this goof and gave a hankie to the... Continue Reading →