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art by Natsuo Ikegami :: pix by Glen Emil

Translation or Transformation: A Chat with Motoyuki Shibata

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A WorldCat view of Prof. Motoyuki Shibata's works

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MS [cont’d]: In a case like this, the battle is half done when you've chosen the form. Of course there is much room for individuality, but maybe not as much as you'd think.

With The Eclectic Abcedarium, I thought I'd use the haiku form (17 syllables: 5-7-5), as I thought it'd be appropriate both for the shortness of the texts and the smallness of the book. It didn't work, though, probably because the haiku form is meant for personal sentiments and not for the kind of (pseudo-) bon mots we have in that book. So I chose to be literally eclectic, sometimes parodying a well-known proverb, sometimes imitating the title of a famous book, etc. There was a lot of room for monkey business and I had great fun doing it.”

(Goreyography note: In fact, in Shibata’s notes at the end of the The Eclectic Abcedarium, he encourages the reader to experiment, and to try and adapt their own verses and even color the tiny illustrations for fun. Just don’t hold him responsible for the results!)

MS [cont’d]: Likewise with The Glorious Nosebleed. Sing a different tune each time, as it were. I borrowed the style of karuta, though, and following the karuta principle I had to begin each section with a different letter. But that restriction was just rigid enough to make the game more fun.

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2008 Illustrations by Natsuo Ikegami, Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and Goreyography+WZP. 著作権を所有します。