Tag Archives: literature

Japanese culture (bookbinding and literature) course via Keio University

Japanese Culture Through Rare Books

Explore the important roles that books have played in the cultural history of Japan.

 

I’ve started an interesting (and free) course from notable Keio University called “Japanese Culture Through Rare Books” in which i shall learn about bookbinding styles and their influence on Japanese literature.

Perfect for me right? (After all, you’ve likely seen my Japanese-influenced scrapjournals after all (maybe you’ve received one…).

Even better if you join in the class too – about 3 hrs a week for 3 weeks, like no big deal and… if you pay some Yen at the end, you get a certificate or something or other.

Official Blurb follow: 

Why join the course?

A book is a tool for preserving words and images. Through books, an abundance of information, including the knowledge and experiences of the people of the past, has been handed down to the present. But books are more than records of words and images. Their form, appearance, and even the scripts and styles used tell us about the fashions and technologies of the times that produced them. By studying old books, we can learn a great deal about the geographical areas in which they were made, the historical background, and the individuals and groups involved in their making.

While displaying remarkable similarities with books produced in other areas of the Sinitic cultural sphere, Japanese books also possess some unique features, starting with their sheer diversity of form and appearance. Using a wealth of multimedia content, we will take a journey through the wonderful world of traditional Japanese books.

 

Preserving the Wildflower – Postcard #69 via video

What becomes of the seemingly ephemeral creations we leave behind? Especially in the analog-days?

Consider these in the context of missing cassette tapes made by a now departed poet/activist/scholar Foster and guitar-ing Mikael, who recorded spontaneous youthful riffs in parent’s basement in Utah. In this postcard, Mikael Lewis sings “Wildflower (for Foster)” written by Dave in a clinic in Nepal, then adds some more verses, spiels and a poem called “Occasionally Free” – with lightning, rainstorm and crickets chiming along.

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Listening to Sea – Postcard #74 via video

Ship-to-shore transmissions with shortwave broadcasts from elusive listening posts, soundscapes from slow ships, and freeverse poetry about unanswered communiques, transitory conditions, arbitrary citizenships, invented geography, de-identification, and intentional disappearance.

Features music: “Dream World” by Matt Harding from NYOSSS (New York, Orem, San Sebastian, & Shanghai), plus various shortwave broadcasts of dubious origin, and sound samples from oceans (recorded by Dave and others via BBC sound archive).

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84

A heart-wrenching poem about an abducted boy called Simon – who lived nearby, was my age and sorta looked like me – in Surrey, BC 1982 – by the “Beast of BC” Clifford Robert Olson (NO relation). Recorded and contributed to Dark Poutine Canadian True Crime podcast – shared here for posterity etc.

RIP Simon and the others.

Be wary for: Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84
(10MB, 5:27, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84

Disappearing for Invigoration – Postcard #78 via video

Disappearing, invisibility, loneliness, depression, anxiety, being lost, trying to not be found, trying to find white space to invigorate… Sometimes these weave together, other times (perhaps) each remain exclusive.

Gord Downie, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and me all try to figure out the nuance in different ways atop Turkish street music, trains from Kerala and Moncton, and various ephemeral music snippets.

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Upon the Varley Trail – Postcard #83

Along his namesake trail on banks of Lynn Creek comes story of Group of 7 bohemian painter Frederick Varley’s 10 wild years in Vancouver teaching and founding art schools, developing new aesthetics and shacking up in an $8 mountain home with mistress.

Bring your own brushes: Upon the Varley Trail – Postcard #83
(30MB, 20:50, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Upon the Varley Trail – Postcard #83

What Love Might Be… – Postcard #82

Love in (most) all forms – from self to romance to heartbreak – explored through poems including: mis-quote from (probably not) Jack Kerouac, Khalil Gibran advising his son, Mary Oliver reminding to trust, (Angela) Anaïs (Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira) Nin’s recklessness, Leonard Cohen recalling flowers to a shy lover, Katie Buemann picking up a sword – plus a variety of relevant freeverse and haiku by myself – while Jerry Garcia describes a Wonderful World and Tanya Donnelly pines for the Atlantic.

Fall headfirst for: What Love Might Be… – Postcard #82
(42MB, 25:30, 192k mp3, stereo)

Continue reading What Love Might Be… – Postcard #82

Jack Kerouac Spoken Word, 4 LP + book collection

I worked at a bicycle shop outside of Vancouver in 1990 and I lived in my VW bus out back of the store some of the time so didn’t have a record player.
 
 
Saved my Canadian dollars and bought this four disc Jack Kerouac set – which includes a thick and beautifully designed booklet – at A&B sound on Seymour Street.
 
 
Was stashed away with the rest of the stuff in 1990 and never has never had a needle drop on it yet.
 
This will change very soon when I spend a bottle of wine with dear ole Jack and other pals.
 
 
He’s a true revolutionary, much more than in the stereotypes,…
 
 
And like many, was a critical erstwhile mentor for a young, mostly Canadian, train rolling, world-travelling writer.
 
 
I have a quite lovely collection of his works and artifacts and very happy to have this in my hands. I need it, truthfully.
 
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For the record, in Sept 2016, picked up a couple of crates of vinyl which I left in a friends dad’s basement in Salt Lake City when I left Grateful Dead tour in 1991 and ended up in Europe, Japan, Micronesia, Cascadia and many departures between. Collecting them now, feels like 20-year-old self wrote a letter for me to receive just when I needed it most. #MusicHeals

Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

Podcover: Postcard Transient Cultural Riffs

Full of mis-spoken words, forgotten names and other sloppiness comes annotated thoughts (squished through time and space) for shut-ins, drifters and sufferers amidst erstwhile festive melancholy times of disruption and tumult, including poems – read alongside mosquito and rooster sounds – by:

  • Sohaib Ahmed
  • Alan Halsey
  • Charles Bukowski
  • David Smalley
  • Kat Code
  • Dave Olson
  • John Monroe
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Unknown Urban Legends
  • Marc Zegans
  • Leif Baradoy
  • Evan Leeson
  • John Sinclair

For the shut-ins: Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81 (70MB, 48:41, 192kbps mp3, stereo)

++

riffs about John Lennon and Ono Yoko and Marshall McLuhan

&

musical riffs by Chet Baker Quartet with Russ Freeman

Plus name checks for Neal Cassady, Jello Biafra, Dave Madden, Allen Ginsberg’s holy cock, dine and dash, Ken Kesey, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, Beat Museum, City Lights, Grateful Dead, Beat Museum, City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jim Robson and more… (note to self: add links).

Continue reading Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80

Sensei Larry’s Wisdom

Upon turning 70 years old, Dave’s dear sensei (since a teenage Utah community college stint), Larry Harper (among various monikers) curated 70 items of advice (at request of Annie Dandelion).

As such, between licks by Grateful Dead and master potter Marty Kendall, he riffs the list – ranging from practical to mystical to almost comical, many including nudity and space. Oh, also includes his ethereal autoharp songs (rescued from a ca. 1991 Zzyxz Rd cassette).

Gather some wisdom with:  Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80
(45MB, 32:59, 192k mp3)

Continue reading Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80