↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Letter as Literature's Political and Poetic Body

When I’m writing, I’ve often found myself inspired by German words like “Stern-kunde” (star-science, or astronomy), “Schrift-steller” (script-placer, or writer) or “Fern-seher” (distance-viewer, television). It always seemed to me as if two ancient Germanic ideograms were being joined together to make a new word. Romanic languages surely sound more melodious and colorful than German. English has a spare, modern elegance that German sometimes lacks, and my love of Slavic languages will never vanish. But for me the building blocks of German words have an ideographic character that seems to be crucial for my writing.

When I write Japanese, it disturbs me to see how many Anglicisms and stiff Sino-Japanese words have crept into the language, but this doesn’t mean I would want the Japanese language to be completely pure. On the contrary. The Japanese spoken today seems to me like the garbage can of linguistic history, and this is one reason why I like the language so much. A garbage can is an important source of inspiration, because often we throw away what is most important. Without making the acquaintance of the German language, I never would have noticed that I am in possession of a garbage can that can be my treasure chest. The Letter as Literature's Political and Poetic Body awada Yoko


Post a Comment

<< Home