tel maure tel valet
Madogiwa no Totto-chan
Madogiwa no Totto-chan begins as a simple story where each chapter is a mini adventure in the eyes of Totto, a young Japanese girl who has been expelled from the public school because of her insatiable (disruptive) curiosity and finds home in Kobayashi San’s alternative school, housed in an old railway car. The first three fourths of the book will inevitably appeal to children and adults alike (who wouldn’t want to go to Tomoe?!) with the whimsical outings to tree tops, temples, and free form style of education but the last forty pages deal with death and the looming of WWII, told in ever so simplistic, straightforward sentences which seems to adhere to the idea of it being from a child’s perspective and yet make it even more gut-wrenching.
1.2016 Not since The Buddha of Suburbia have I laughed so hard over male Indian youth. Except of course for the dismembering.
2.2015 I finally did it. After three years of starting and stopping this sucker I finally finished it, shivering under the wool blanket of my cold Delhi apartment. Funny enough, while I lamented the tediousness of Proust’s writing style, I’m now beside myself, feeling lost without this excess of words.
10.2014 Whoa and whoa.
9.2013 Found Fukuoka at the check out counter of Blossoms, my favorite bookstore in Bangalore and chose this over qualifying exam reading material. Fukuoka’s doctrine on the need to return to nature, to let things be, not try to alter the land has reminded me that there is a difference between ‘nature’ and ‘natural’ and though at times I become angry thinking him outdated, impractical, head in the clouds, I also appreciate the simplicity of what he is saying, and the difficulty of committing to such simplicity. Also just love the cover.
12.5.2013 Industrialization of consciousness. Dig it.
“So far no one has ever come up with anything to prove that truth is in proportion to abstract time, that what lasts for a long time is true and that what only lasts for an instant is false.”
-Benjamin Fondane, La Conscience malheureuse (1936)
2011 “Actually, of course, a social calamity is primarily a cultural not an economic phenomenon that can be measured by income figures of population statistics,”(Polanyi, 164).
9.2011 “Imagine there was no music, only technology.” -Morton Subotnick musing on his early years at the San Francisco Tape Center.
7. 2011 Thanks James, you make me want to like Jane Jacobs.
7.2011 “In France you get freedom of action: you can do what you like and nobody bother, but you must think like everybody else. In Germany you must do what everybody else does, but you may think as you you choose…But in England you get neither: you’re grounded down by convention. You can’t think as you like and you can’t act as you like. That’s because its a democratic nation. I expect American’s worse,”(93).
5.2011 “What do you say about a little philosophical debate?…are you up to it?…a debate, let us say for example, on the mutations of progress through the transformations of the Self?…”
Oh Celine I embrace your three dots like a long lost brother.