|13 » Giles Murray||Tokyo||Date: 22.03.2012 Time: 12:51:23|
Due (in part) to an infestation by the "spiders from Mars," this website has been closed to comments. Best regards and may you all live wonderful, Tanizakian lives!
|12 » Giles Murray||London||Date: 09.11.2009 Time: 08:45:28|
I didn't know that Tinto Brass, the notorious Italian director responsible for "Caligula," had made an adaptation of Tanizaki's "The Key," set in early 20th-century Venice. Regarded as "one of the best erotic movies ever made," the film has all sorts of fan sites on the Internet.
Here is the Amazon link:
|11 » Morgan Kershaw||London||Date: 19.05.2008 Time: 04:20:54|
Why do you use the expression "fiendishly labyrinthine"?
Clearly the narrator loves words, the more obscure or difficult the better, as part of his lifelong quest for novelty and stimulation. He also may have an upper-class tendency to exaggeration, as seen again in the "tremendous downpour" you mention on Page 309 later. You could also argue that long words and a certain preciosity of language are a kind of rampart that he has constructed to keep others at a distance from him and the citadel of his immense self-regard.
PAGE 249 & 327
Mr. S.K. uses the non-native English expressions to show how sophisticated he is and add a non-quotidian flavor to whatever he is talking about. To achieve the same exotic effect in English I suppose one has to translate the expressions into an another language.
I can think of a few reasons why you might have chosen this word: (i) it has military connotations and (ii) it is associated with displays of wit as in a "brilliant sally."
I also wondered if your choice of the word might have something to do with the British expression "Aunt Sally," derived from <Aunt Sally, name given to an effigy of a woman smoking a pipe set up as an amusement attraction at English fairs for patrons to throw missiles at> and meaning "an object of criticism or contention; especially : one that is set up to invite criticism or be easily refuted," but that didn't seem to make much sense. Maybe you use the verb "sally forth" because "Sally" is a woman's name and he's dressed as a woman...or is that just too tenuous?
Her nose is "sharp" because she is seen by Mr. S.K. as a sexual predator like himself. I think a similar reason lies behind your choice of the verb "ferret out" on Page 327: Mr S.K. is feral, all claws and sharp teeth after his prey, like a pitiless hunting animal.
|9 » Giles Murray||Date: 14.04.2008 Time: 13:18:32|
Poor Tanizaki seems to be generating less traffic than either of the other writers in "Exploring," presumably because he's that much more difficult.
As an incentive, I'd like to offer a Shinchosha audio CD of "The Secret" and "The Tattooer" to the first person who posts a comment of decent length and intelligence.
The comment does not have to be micro-analysis of the nitty-gritty of translation. Feel free to comment on any aspect of the story that grabs you. Opinions on decadence in general, or revelations of your personal adventures as a cross-dresser or blindfolded romantic commuter—anything and everything welcome!
|8 » Giles Murray||Date: 07.04.2008 Time: 00:11:13|
People interested in a more contemporary version of Tanizaki's favourite bedside book, Krafft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," might find something to enjoy in "Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head?: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies" by Brett Kahr, which "The Economist" describes as "gripping ... also somewhat alarming." It is based on a survey of 18,000 people, so very solid and academic.
There's a review here:
|7 » Giles Murray||Tokyo||Date: 02.03.2008 Time: 15:21:31|
I have just listened to the Shinchosha audio CD of "The Secret" for the first time. Kei Satou, the actor who reads it, has a good, rich voice, although I would have preferred him to read a tad more slowly, especially for the first, more descriptive part of the story, which is so dense and difficult.
I found that I really enjoyed listening from around the page 326 area (the 40-minute mark), where "Mr. S.K." starts wanting to find out where he is being taken to in the rickshaw every night. The volume of dialogue increases and the pace picks up as the story heads toward its conclusion.
I shall listen again and see how my impressions change.
|6 » Giles Murray||Date: 21.02.2008 Time: 06:35:49|
For people who want to enjoy audio, Michael Staley, editor of "Exploring...," has cleverly discovered a CD of Tanizaki stories that includes "The Secret." A Japanese bookshop in your country should be able to order it for you if you take along a printout of the page.
I have ordered the CD from Amazon Japan and will let you know if it's any good.
Here is the link for the Audio CD on Amazon:
TITLE: 刺青,秘密 (新潮CD) (単行本)
PUBLISHER: 出版社: 新潮社 (2006/04)
|4 » Giles Murray||Date: 04.10.2007 Time: 03:21:03|
While writing "Exploring into Japanese Literature," I got myself a copy of Krafft-Ebbing's book, "Pyschopathia Sexualis," which is reported to have influenced Tanizaki so much. It includes a long section on "fetichism" (sic) including "dress-fetichism." Since the case studies are quite interesting, partly because of their unusual content, partly because of their archaic style, I shall put up a couple here so you can see the sort of raw materials from which Tanizaki got his inspiration.
There doesn't seem to be a case study of someone who likes to dress as a women and walk in busy places at night or go to the cinema, so no exact parallel to "The Secret."
CASE 105. K., aged forty-five, shoemaker, was reported to be without hereditary taint. He was peculiar, and had small mental endowment. He was of masculine habits, and without signs of degeneration. Previously blameless in conduct, on the evening of 5th July, 1876, he was detected removing stolen female under-garments from a place of concealment. There were found with him about 300 articles of the female toilet, among them, besides chemises and drawers, night-caps, garters, and a female doll. When arrested he was wearing a chemise. Since his thirteenth year he had been a slave to an impulse to steal women's linen; but, after his first punishment for it, he became very careful, and stole with refinement and success. When this longing came over him he would grow anxious, and his head would become heavy. Then he could not resists the impulse, cost what it might. It was a matter of indifference to him from whom he took the articles. At night, on going to bed, he would put on the stolen clothing and create beautiful women in imagination, thus inducing pleasurable feeling and ejaculation. This was apparently the motive of his thefts; at least, he had never disposed of any of the articles, but had hidden them here and there.
CASE 107. Z., thirty-six years of age, scholar; had never before felt interested in woman, only in her attire, and never had sexual intercourse. Besides the elegance and smartness of the female toilet in general, certain underwear, chemises made of cambric and trimmed with lace, silk corsets, embroidered silk shirts and silk stockings formed his particular fetich. It caused him voluptuous feelings to inspect and finger such female garments at the draper's. His ideal was the female form in bathing costume, with silk stockings and corset, and clad in a mourning-dress with a long train.
He studies the costumes of the coureuses des rues [streetwalkers], but found them tasteless. He found more pleasure in gazing at the shop windows, but felt annoyed because the exhibits therein were not changed often enough. He found partial satisfaction in holding and studying fashion magazines, and in buying now and then single garments of exceptional beauty.... There were no traces of masochism or homosexual inclination to be found on this particular fetichist. He was of thoroughly manly presence.
Reply: The following case study from Krafft-Ebbing is not relevant to "The Secret," but it's so comical I had to put it up.