I thought seriously about discontinuing the blog. There's so much more important writing to be done, and very little time. I'm not sure how much more I'll be updating it. But nevertheless. . .
My mortality clock slides forward, ka-chunk
as it reaches the next notch. Book 395 was Vox
by Nicholson Baker. And again, ka-chunk
. Novel 394 was Cryptonomicon
by Neal Stephenson. Why did I wait until I was finished with 394 to mention 395? It's long been a policy of mine not to mention sex on this blog, and Vox
concerns nothing that is not infused with sex. So, you'll find no comment here about it.
But I don't intend to comment seriously on Cryptonomicon
either. My response to the book over the past several weeks have already been sufficiently interwoven into my thoughts that it seems simply tedious to isolate out commentary. But one thing that I noticed was that this work, along with Empire of the Sun
both employ Chinese and Japanese characters, but only imbue the Japanese characters with any interior dialogue or subjectivity. There seems to be a Western proclivity to read Japanese modernity back into time, perhaps allowing convivial feelings toward a fellow post-industrial society and coldwar ally to color historical memory. It really does seem that although the 1940s American media tended to demonize the 'Japs' as brainwashed, bloodthirsty and 'unfunny' (<-actual terms used by Life Magazine), contemporary Anglo-American writers find the Japanese mind a relatively comfortable place to situate their imaginations.
1. How 'accurate' can these imaginings be? (Are we just inventing and projecting?)
2. What would it take for us to be able to extend this appreciation of human subjectivity to all humans?Tick-tock
. OK. Time for bed.