Sunday, January 24, 2010

『ラストウィンドウ』

「夢はそう簡単に叶わないね」
「そりゃそうさ。こちとらは現実にだって敵わねぇんだからな」
「つまり希望はことごとく達成困難なものだって事か」
「達成困難なものがことごとく希望であるたぁ、限らねーけどな」
ぼくと零崎、『クビシメロマンチスト』

"Dreams don't come true that easily, right"
"Of course. We can't fight reality"
"So every dream is difficult to fullfill"
"But not every thing that is difficult to fulfill is a dream"
Me and Zerosaki, "Kubishime Romantist"


Maybe, some kind of alarm in my head should have gone off when a teacher supervising research papers said that Kyushu University's JLCC program can't be compared to language and culture programs at other Japanese universities. Because different from the study-a-bit-and-play programs at other universities, he said, you're supposed to study till you die at Kyushu University (Sadly enough, he literally used the words 死ぬほど勉強する). In retrospect, the word die should have resulted in a reaction. Maybe I read too much detectives. Words like die just lose their meaning.

So the reaction is here now, severely delayed. I'm temporarily following 75% more classes compared to last year, and somewhere in between I'm also sqeezing in reading Japanese academic papers for my research, which suddenly has taken a different turn as I still have not decided what I'll do, but combining both Edogawa Rampo and modernization seems too much (especially in Japanese!), so now I'm contemplating either Edogawa or Japanese detective fiction in general and modernization. Or something like that. After I read the next article, I'll probably change my mind. Again. But yeah. Time. It's gone. Can't seem to find it. Need vacation.

And this might be a semi-random musing, but why in heaven's sake would a Japanese academic paper need a summary in German?! I actually hoped the whole paper would be in German, as it would take less time compared to Japanese, but still...

Busy with classes (ack, the ancient Greek exam in Japanese! The papers on stuff like Human Chairs, the Dutch Generation Y and the Dutch secondary education system! Another junior high presentation! ), I don't actually have time to do other stuff, so the most exciting things these days are things like finding out that whale meat taste awfully a lot like beef (which is, in retrospect, not very strange), experiencing real Korean kimchi which indeed is a lot tastier than the stuff they sell in the supermarkets here, finding out that the Tuna Burger of MOS Burger is not as tasty as one would hope, watching Japanese movies during the Japanese movie course, which is a lot more fun compared to the Leiden one enjoying myself at the 4-koma manga course. Reading the immensely popular Chibi Maruko-chan is surprisingly fun, but I'll probably never get that tune out of my head. Just like the Duck Tales' opening.

Today's Song: 大久保賢 (Ookubo Satoshi) - Violet Sky

9 comments :

  1. Just a random comment on how I like that quote among many others in that series.

    Did you actually finish 戯言? If that's the case: I finished サイコロジカル(上) recently and plan reading (下) next week. Is it 'possible' to sort of take a break after that? As much as I love that series there are so many other books I want to read and they are piling up behind my back while 戯言 just won't end...

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  2. I've only read クビキリサイクル till now, and while I bought クビシメロマンチスト and クビツリハイスクール some time ago, I just can't seem to find the time to read them :( But I thorougly enjoyed the first novel, so probably top of my to-read list when it's spring holiday!

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  3. Are you having tests as well now? Because I think I will die of midnight studying soon.

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  4. Yup, spring holiday... Out of the vast pool of stuff I'd want to read I'm now planning on 森's すべてがFになる and maybe 二階堂's 吸血の家 or 清涼院's コズミック.

    Be 'warned' that after クビキリサイクル the 'degree' of 推理 lessens somewhat. Of course the plot of a volume is still centered on the mystery but it's also about other topics and character development. I know this sounds like I'm talking about the 1st volume but there's a slight shift in focus. As long as you like 西尾's style and wit there shouldn't be any problem though.

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  5. @エリ: I don't have that many tests actually, this week is Reading and Kanji, next week Ancient Greek and then it's over. Instead, I have countless of presentations and papers to hand in every week from now till spring holiday. And my 課題研究 is always sitting there in the back of my head, watching me as a beast in the shadow.

    @mousoukyoku: I'm aware of the shift of focus in the 戯言シリース, but I'm at least going to the next book to see how it turns out. Or else I have plenty of other books to turn too. Like 漱石と倫敦ミイラ殺人事件 by 島田, which sound like a bad pastiche with Natsume Souseki and Sherlock Holmes, but I somehow feel 島田 can pull it off.

    And 吸血鬼の家 is awesome!

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  6. Presentations... I still have to prepare a handout for a seminar in... about 5 hours because I was unable to finish it yesterday because of severe headache. It's about psychoanalytic literary criticism in Paul Auster's City of Glass in a seminar about Detective Fiction, so at least it's pretty fun.

    I loved ロマンチスト just as much as the 1st one. So yeah, just go for it.

    I guess I'll really try out 吸血の家 since even half of the Japanese readers seem to find コズミック exhausting... I know 二階堂's works aren't a cakewalk either but 清涼院's stuff is almost in the same category as 人狼城の恐怖...

    Sometimes I hate myself for being unable to start with something easier und shorter.

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  7. 二階堂 is not as difficult as one might think, at least, his writing style is somewhat easier compared to 島田 or 法月. If in need for shorter stuff, there are several short story collections by 二階堂. I quite enjoyed 名探偵の肖像.

    I want to take on 人狼城の恐怖, but I can't seem to find a store here in Fukuoka that has all of 4 volumes in stock. :/

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  8. If you really can't find them and don't mind reading scans... register at jpmp3.com or give me an email-address and I'll send you the links.

    I think I'll manage 吸血の家 somehow... considering that I also managed books with 380 double-column pages I should be able to deal with 600 single-column pages. Or did you find 西尾's style to be a lot easier?

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  9. Thanks for the link, but I'll pass. Not too fond of reading from a screen.

    I actually think 西尾's style is more difficult than 二階堂, but that's because the dialogues in 西尾's works tend to be quite quirky and thus requiring a very good sense of reading comprehension, compared to the more straight-forward Japanese in 二階堂's novels. I don't think it'll pose any grand problems.

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