The Built-in Approachability of Culture in “Well-Versed: Exploring Modern Japanese Haiku,” A Haiku Anthology Edited by Ozawa Minoru, Translated by Janine Beichman
After Basho and his immediate disciples, haiku gradually fell out of artistic favor in Japanese society until Masaoka Shiki revitalized it as a respected art form in the late 19th century. “Well-Versed” captures everything that has happened since, with 300 haiku written from around 1900 to the present day.
By Alex Andriesse It’s not always clear what is happening in Hiroko Oyamada’s The Hole, but by the time the reader notices how little he understands, he is too immersed in the novel to put it down. Obviously, I am speaking in the third person about my own experience, but I doubt that this experience […]
Authorial Women: The Gender of Character Construction in Hiromi Kawakami’s “The Ten Loves of Nishino,” Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
This month, in memory of our contributor Professor Jed Deppman who founded the Oberlin College Translation Symposium, instituted a literary translation minor, and taught courses in literary translation and comparative literature, we are featuring three reviews by Oberlin College Comparative Literature graduates and students, taught and trained by Professor Deppman and other Oberlin College faculty. Professor […]
Reviewed by Jordan A. Y. Smith Spiral Staircase, an engaging collection of poems and works by the dynamo of Japanese futurism, Hirato Renkichi, ably fulfills the translator and editor’s declared mission: “providing English-language readers a focused survey of Hirato’s life-long literary output” (8). Considering the brevity of his life (1893-1922), Hirato accomplished much, experimenting with […]
Yoshimasu Gozo is a one-of-a-kind artist. While he’s usually referred to as a poet, such a categorization almost always comes with some sort of qualification. His work is often called “unconventional” or “unorthodox.” Others stress that his poetry draws heavily from performance, music, and/or multimedia art. In a word, he writes the sort of poetry that’s […]
Reviewed by Jordan A. Y. Smith [Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar is one of those novels that makes one loathe to reveal not only the ending but the beginning, so I will open with my clichéd but earnest recommendation that you trust me—and Tawada’s stellar and well-earned reputation—go read the novel, then continue reading this […]