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click opera
February 2010
 
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Tue, Dec. 19th, 2006 12:56 pm
Tokyo-as-highly-viral-third-culture-style-lab

27CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Wed, Dec. 20th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
More from the Fusty One (RLP)

Words like "empirical detail", "standard Anglo-Saxon emphasis" and "cannily intuitive" do not excuse you here. You rushed to conclusions about me based on one book review, a five minute trawl of my blog, and - it turns out - my byline photograph. Your surprise that I read Click opera rather gives you away - would you have written what you did if you had known in advance that I would see it? I'm not demanding apologies, but they wouldn't be out of place.

You know nothing about how I "respond to the textural, emotional, intuitive and even sexual aspects" of Japan, because you don't know me or my work. Pondering my little photograph doesn't make up for this.

I didn't "dismiss" Donald Richie. I wrote a 5,000 word essay on his life and work. What is all this about "textual" motives and "sexual" ones? What gives you the impression that I suspect one and glorify the other? I sound tetchy, because your sloppiness smakes me impatient - but I would genuinely like to know the answer.

I didn't cover Tokyo Design Week - because it's not my job. I'm a foreign correpsondent for the international pages of a general, daily newspaper. My partner, also a journalist (she works for Wallpaper) wrote at length about Design Week - although she neglected the election of prime minister Abe, the coup in Thailand, and the North Korean nuclear test. Is any of this really surprising?

No, none of these "culture events" are more or less important than one another. Really, this is is too obvious to be worth pointing out. But please take it from me - there are plenty of Japanese people passionate about politics, whether you know them or not. Let's agree that (being human) we both have blind spots. (Isn't this just a way of saying that we are interested in dfferent things?) I'm happy to let yours go, as long as you refrain from showering me with epithets when I express my own.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Dec. 20th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
Re: More from the Fusty One (RLP)

Well, I will apologize if you like, Richard. I'm growing up in public here; I listened to a BBC radio programme you were on and have to say I admire your bravery in visiting the various war-zones you've been to, and written about. Also, I liked the "culturalist" way you were describing the impression, for instance, the Borneo jungles left on you. Your take was highly "textural", in fact.

My worldview is basically an aesthete's, and to that extent I'm probably closer, culturally, to your partner, who did write about Design Week. I'm glad one of you is covering this stuff, anyway, because, in a society at peace rather than one in the throes of a civil war, it's important and, I think, central.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Dec. 20th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
Re: More from the Fusty One (RLP)

And, having read Smilingly Excluded again, I will say I think it's a terrific piece of writing. The binary I remembered between Tokyo's intellectual provincialism and Richie's sexual exploits is really only hinted at in the final sentence:

"In 150 years, foreigners in Japan have produced important works of history, political science, anthropology and journalism, but no lasting work of literature. Perhaps Donald Richie shows us why."


ReplyThread Parent