All right, guys. Here is where I announce a new project that I’m starting that is both for the public and for myself. Will it benefit anybody? I have absolutely no idea, but I feel a sense of duty.
First and foremost: have any of you ever heard of Bungou Stray Dogs?
It’s an anime/manga by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa. The characters have supernatural powers and are named after famous literary figures in Japan (Bungō, or 文豪, means “Literary writer” or “Literary master”), and their “gifts”, as they call them, are based on their most famous work. They even bring in famous American authors as well, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Louisa May Alcott, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Basically, it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread.
Naturally I’ve heard of the American authors, but my curiosity was piqued about the ones from Japan. I started researching them, and I realized, with harsh clarity, that Japanese literature in English-speaking countries is practically scarce. Despite the fact that these authors are so acknowledged in Japan, elsewhere, they are virtually unknown.
I love Japan, but I have to admit that my list of known Japanese authors is about the length of a post-it note. I felt a little…ashamed.
I’ve decided to use Bungou Stray Dogs as a guide. I want to read these works not only for myself, but to bring Japanese literature closer to other people. Many of these stories, books, and poems have been translated into English, so it’s not like it’s due to a lack of availability. It’s simply that Japanese literature is isolated, and I want it to spread out.
These posts will be a lot like reviews, but I want to focus more on the book and less on opinion. Whether or not I like it is inconsequential; it’s not about me. I’ll keep a documented list of the work that I’ve read, and hopefully this will bring it into another reader’s hands.
*phew.* That was a mouthful.
I hope you’ll enjoy them in the future! I’m excited to get started.