This blog is a storage space for various thoughts, observations and musings centering on shōjo manga (少女漫画, Japanese comics for girls), josei-oriented manga (Japanese comics for women) and manga created by women (in the widest sense). Topics from other fields of relevance, such as music, art, literature and film may be discussed here as well.

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Viewing all posts in category: Books/Literature/Writing


The English translation of Kanehara Hitomi’s novel Autofiction is going to come out in just a few days through Vintage UK. I’ve already preordered my copy :) To celebrate the occasion I spent this afternoon re-reading her debut, Snakes & Earrings (which I’ve sort-of-reviewed here). This time I found it so much easier to relate to the three main characters and found the writing a lot more reflective than the first time. I think it has a lot to do with gained personal experience, my current mind set etc. And with that, my hopes for enjoying Autofiction just as much are extremely high.

Just by skimming through the reviews on Amazon Japan it becomes pretty clear that lots of readers seem to have difficulties with categorizing Kanehara’s writing. Is it pure literature? Is it entertainment meant to shock and sell? Is it literature at all or just plain trash? I’m not a friend of categorizations at all. Different pieces of art/culture/literature appeal to different people, you can love something and relate to it and feel that it reflects your own way of life and thinking, or you simply don’t. Kanehara’s stories truly aren’t made for a wide range of readers. (Though at least her debut was a huge commercial success after it received the Akutagawa Prize.) Only a small fraction of people probably can fully relate to her characters because not everybody is trying to find alternative ways of living or to take things to extremes. It is a kind of “alternative” literature that’s very controversial but definitely deserves to be called literature. (And that shocking, provocative nuance of her works definitely isn’t new to Japanese literature anyway, think Akutagawa, Tanizaki, Dazai Osamu, Murakami Ryuu etc.)

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Categories: Books/Literature/Writing, Japanese Literature, Various.
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Posted on Apr 29, 2007 (Sun, 4:01 pm). .

In the Cold of August

I’m reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never let me go at the moment and it has to be one of the most precious books I’ve ever read. It’s indescribably beautiful and filled with so many details, scenes of human interaction and dialogues written in such a warm, realistic way it’s sometimes painful. And there’s a protagonist I can identify with so well, I know it’s going to be hard to finish reading the book. I know it because I’ve been putting off reading the last 50 pages or so for a couple of days now. I just don’t want it to end even though it’s been so melancholic and heart-breaking and even terrifying in a very subtle way…

I’ll also try and finish watching Eureka seveN, only twenty-something episodes to go -_- No but seriously, I’m glad I kept watching it this far. Around episode 30, it had that enlightening, extremely rewarding moment when all the very very veeerrryyy slow character and plot development paid off because it really made you feel like you came all this long way with the characters.

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Categories: Anime, Books/Literature/Writing, European & American Literature, Various.
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Posted on Sep 4, 2006 (Mon, 10:35 pm). .

62nd Venice Film Festival

This year’s Biennale in Venice proved to be quite amazing again, featuring a fantastic line-up that made me feel sad as I couldn’t be there myself :(
(My only solace now is the Berlinale Film Festival which I’ll be able to attend next February.)

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film. Ang Lee is the man for Westerns with a difference. (Think Ride with the Devil.) And of course, he is a brilliant director in general; The Ice Storm is one of my favourite movies ever made.

Speaking of The Ice Storm, Elijah Wood, who was in that film, also attended the Venice Film Festival to promote Everything Is Illuminated, the movie adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s extremely well-written, hilarious and moving novel of the same title. The few trailers I’ve seen suggest that the film is just as weird and funny as the book and I hope it will find its way to a cinema near me very soon :)

Ang Lee was handed his award by none other than Miyazaki Hayao. If that wasn’t wonderful enough, Miyazaki Hayao received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement! I am overjoyed that a European film festival acknowledged again what an outstanding film maker Miyazaki is.

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Categories: European & American Literature, Film/TV, Various.
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Posted on Sep 11, 2005 (Sun, 11:29 pm). .

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