Robin D. Gill (1951-). Well-known in Japan for seven erudite yet fun books deconstructing stereotypes about national character (environmental reductionism, linguistic determinism etc.) in the 1980s. All develop and demonstrate his hypothesis that difference properly understood proves similarity and vice-versa. His publishers include the prestigious literary and academic press Hakusuisha, high quality mass-market Chikuma Bunko and avant-garde Kousaku-sha, the last of which he served as the book scout and translation checker for twenty years. Back in the USA, he became an author-publisher (Paraverse Press) the better to provide creative readers with full-length experimental books, including plentiful Japanese (in the original) and a variety of design novelties at a decent price. His best-known book in English is Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! (2003). With almost 1000 haiku about sea cucumbers spanning the 17-20c, it is recognized as a watershed in thematic selection and multiple translation. Recent work includes The Cherry Blossom Epiphany, with 3000 haiku by hundreds of Edo era poets about blossom-viewing, The Fifth Season, with 2000 haiku of the enchanted Japanese New Year, which is the first of a ten volume series, In Praise of Old Haiku and, most recently, The Woman Without a Hole (also Octopussy, Dry Kidney & Blue Spots) a book with 1,300 dirty 18-19c senryu. One book, Orientalism & Occidentalism explores the impossibility of translating between exotic tongues and sums up things he wrote about at greater length in Japanese. Another, Topsy-turvy 1585, translates and explicates the list of 611 ways Europeans and Japanese are contrary written by Luis Frois, SJ in that year. Books soon to be published concern felinity and paraversing. They are titled The Cat Who Thought Too Much and A Dolphin In the Woods. All of his books are essays with a measure of natural history and, after the style of Montaigne, cosmopolitan yet unabashedly personal. Book reviews, Errata and Glosses for future editions may be found at his website, paraverse.org and, as uncoolwabin, he may be contacted at hotmail.
MAD IN TRANSLATION – a thousand years of kyôka, comic japanese poetry in the classic waka mode.
is now more or less ready and should be at Amazaon etc by 2009/6/21 and it is my excuse for being tardy with the below --
The Cat Who Thought Too Much
A Dolphin in the Woods
Yes, I could use one.
I have been told by readers inspired by my books that they went to work for NGO's because they read my book, but I have been a pauper for so many years now...
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