Month: April 2015

Book review: Seven Japanese Tales

Seven Japanese Tales.Seven Japanese Tales by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Japanese culture, when compared to what’s generally passed off as Western culture, seems to be a little off. That’s not a value judgement, but an observation that compared to what Western Canon readers are used to, there’s more dissonance, and a willingness to examine topics which (at least in the time Tanizaki was writing) were either not covered in polite society, or were swept under the rug in bowdlerised editions.

It’s not the case here. Incest and fetishes, and the annihilation of the self in the service of one’s object of desire are the cornerstones of these works. (more…)

Book review: The Lucy Family Alphabet

The Lucy Family Alphabet.The Lucy Family Alphabet by Judith Lucy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book describes Australian comedian Judith Lucy’s family.

It’s important to state at the outset for those unaware of Lucy’s act – though I’m uncertain who would read this book without knowing at least a little of the comedian’s work – that her caustic style makes much of the role of her family in her upbringing. The loony parents who won’t let their kids take showers (despite having a functional appliance) and who exist on disdain and laxatives are the cornerstone of her pieces. (more…)