Journal Entry

books, continued
sat 16 jan 2010

A gathering of my unread books...

the book backlog

27 dead tree books (the front stack is a couple of my unread mags... and the online classes that I printed up and bound). Not in the picture: two (or more) ebooks. Also the grey book at the bottom of the left stack is actually seven books combined!

Opps, I guess I miscounted. Also not in the picture: the ebook I bought today. I also bought a few more art journal magazines this weekend. Sighs, you see my problem! :)

Anyway, I stacked most of these in a box and that box is right outside my bedroom. I have to look at the box of books every time I enter my room. Even tho I bought a new ebook today, I think I'm going to get through a few of these old books this year!

I finished Snow Flower (oh so sad! but relevant.) and now I'm continuing on the book that I had started reading before the new year... The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon (translated by Ivan Morris) (the best translation according to Kij Johnson of The Fox Woman, I loved this book!)

Anyway, The Pillow Book is Classic Japanese Literature. It's basically a journal of a woman living in the royal court in the 990's. Completely random, and lists, and oh my Yes I love it!

Something I need to research:

The title, Makura no Soshi ('notes of the pillow'), whether or not Shonagon actually used it herself, was probably a generic term to describe a type of informal book of notes which men and women composed when they retired to their rooms in the evening and which they kept near their sleeping place, possibly in the drawers of their wooden pillows, so that they might record stray impressions. This form of belles-lettres appears to have been indigenous to Japan. The Pillow Book is the precursor of a typically Japanese genre known as zuihitsu ('occasional writings', 'random notes') which has lasted until the present day and which includes some of the most valued works in the country's literature.
-- Introduction by Ivan Morris

"Random Notes" Wow: a whole genre to explore!

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