Featured Post

Dreams are Confused

Dreams are confused, yet men seek clarity there Oracles speak with twisted tongues; men trust them and do not despair From confusion--do...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Foreign writers have been visiting Tokyo since the 1860s, but for such a vast, thrilling and important city it has proved barren as a place of literary exile. Among those who made Japan their home, as well as their subject, there are to be found only minor talents, chief among them the Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn, whose retellings of native ghost stories have made him more famous in Japanese translation than in English. The most interesting writing has been in sketches by those who have passed by and peered in without ever achieving intimacy with the culture: Angela Carter’s essays of the early 1970s collected in Nothing Sacred; Anthony Thwaite’s delicate and tentative poetry collection, Letter from Tokyo; and John Hersey’s great work of reportage, Hiroshima. When literary celebrities have alighted in Japan, the results have usually been disastrous.

Richard Lloyd Parry.


Here's some nice plagiarism of this by Marrouchi:

Western writers have been visiting Japan since the 1860s, but for such a vast thrilling and important country it has proven barren as a place of literary exile. Among those who made Japan their home, as well as their subject, there are to be found only few such as the Greek Irish Lafcadio Hearn, whose retellings of Japan native ghost stories have made him more famous in Japanese translation than in English. The most interesting writing has been in sketches by those who have passed by and peered in without acquiring intimacy with the culture of Japan: Angela Carter's Nothing Sacred, an individual inspection, Anthony Thwaite's Letter from Tokyo, a collection of poetry, John Hersey's Hiroshima, a work of reportage, or Roland Barthes's L'Empire des signes (Empire of Signs), a meditative essay are good examples. Other — in my opinion less sophisticated — texts include Jay McInerney's Ransom full of machismo and japonaiserie (Vincent Van Gogh's nineteenth-century notion about the influence of Japanese art and culture), Clive James's comedy Brrm Brrm, or Alan Booth's and Richard Gordon Smith's travel writings (on travel and Japan, see, e.g., Goebel; Kawakami; Suvin; on the problematics between the literatures of the East and the West, see, e.g., Aldridge; Moore and Moody). But Japan has never attracted the attention of a Chatwin or a Naipaul, let alone fostered a Kipling in spite of a short visit there in 1889, a Maugham, a Conrad, or a Bowles. I posit that exceptions to the rule are David Mitchell's number9dream and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Kazuo Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills and An Artist of the Floating World.

I just googled a few phrases and came up with the source quite easily. I could do it for the entire essay, I'm sure, and find other uncited sources.

4 comments:

profacero said...

FYI -- http://english.unlv.edu/faculty/vitas/marrouchi.pdf

Thomas said...

Yes, looks like "Densely hierarchical, structured by invisible networks of deference, obligation, and taboo..." is taken from Parry as well.

And "One way to start writing a novel is to have a theory about what a novel is supposed to be for,..." seems to be taken from a review of Kundera in Harper's Magazine by Arthur Phillips.

Jonathan said...

There is much more taken from Parry. Good catch with the Kundera / Philips. I googled that sentence but didn't see that result coming up.

Thomas said...

I'm very curious to see what ends up happening in this case. It's important to keep in mind that people like this get their jobs and their tenure based on work like this, which, ultimately, means that other people, who produce less writing more carefully, don't get (those same) jobs and (sometimes) tenure (because the bar is set by these "prolific" types).