Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Yi T'aejun, 'Dust and Other Stories' (2018), Part II

Yi T'aejun, Dust and Other Stories. Translated by Janet Poole. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

"Unconditioned." The passage of time, evocations worthy of Marcel Proust. "Perhaps it was because two or more of those decades had passed during which the mountains and rivers are said to change, but does that mean we can't even trust the mountains and rivers over time? . . . The whole area seemed to have been filled in and the mountain razed, to be replaced by a red muddy track going up the slope." (pp. 140-141)

"Before and After Liberation." ". . . no words were necessary for the feelers of their desperate hearts to clasp onto each other, and they had already grown quite intimate after only a couple of meetings." (p. 155)

"U.S. [A]rmy [J]eeps . . . wriggled like a swarm of whirligig beetles."  

"'The blue waters and green mountains remain the same, 
While the rain merely washes the moss on the rocks.'"  (p. 187)

"Tiger Grandma." Literacy drive. "'Why don't you leave us living corpses alone? What does it matter if we can read or not when we'll be on the way to the public cemetery tomorrow or the next day . . .'"  (p. 190)

"'There's a saying that even saints must follow the times.'" (p. 192)

Manguri, a basket with a slip pf paper to forget worries. (p. 194) Heap of stones. Rice and greens for crows and magpies, "a shaman's 'scolding.'" (p. 195)

"Just then, three or four hens come tottering out of the kitchen, chased by a cockerel." (p. 198)

"Dust." "The businessman's complaints were endless." (p. 239)

Japanese imperialism replaced by American imperialism. "All of a sudden the children selling American cigarettes and gum scattered into the alleys to hide, crouching like a flock of birds spooked by a hawk."  (p. 244)

"Conservative? But that's not who I really am! The conservatives are noxious pests who block the progress of their country and society in any age. Am I really conservative?" (p. 259)

Today's Rune: Wholeness. 

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