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P A R A V E R S E . O R G


Time will tell what will come to and from PARAVERSE dot ORG, or simply “the paraverse” as I think of this, my first website.  At present our priority is publishing, for the emergence of economical Print On Demand  allows quality work too innovative for large publishers to bet on (with offset, the publisher must print large  runs to bring the price down) to be published at a decent price for the first time in history.  Soon, publishing will become a free world, with authors calling the shots, as it should be.   As our own publishers, we do not need to tour, when we – at least, I – would prefer to save our limited global resources and stay home to write.  We can put our books out into the world and prove they have a readership without relying upon the chance encounter with the right agent or editor.  And we are free to produce books in English liberally strewn with Chinese characters or boasting delightful (rather than academic) footnotes taking the lion’s share of the text, without being over-ruled by a gutless publisher who cannot imagine readers liking such things.  In short, we may target bright readers without submitting to academic or market tyranny.   Publishing is only a decade behind music.  (After 7 years in business, we, or, I -- for "we" are still a one-man operation -- feel that lag.  Despite a rave review for one book by the top person in the field and some other fine reviews by top academics in limited circulation journals, the mass media, including NPR(!) have yet to introduce, much yet review  any of my books. 

I was almost immediately picked up by the major media in Japan when I wrote there in the 1970's- to 80's..  Knowing my work appeals to a broad, albeit intellectual, readership, our conclusion must be that the major media in Usania does not employ people capable of judging books by their content, for otherwise there is no explanation for what they do and do not review. Readers with connections are invited to use them.

If you (like me) are disgusted with the crap on the NYT nonfiction best-seller's list -- at present (May-June, 2009) a right wing radio host is number one, for lack of competition) please do not assume, as I once did, that the problem is a lack of good books.  There are any number of truly creative books out there. Surely, my books are not an exception. We do not know about them because the review establishment is either too lazy to read and select books for themselves, so they leave it up to their connections, or they are, like their radio counterparts, happy with being wined, dined and, perhaps worse:  on the payolla. (Maybe I exaggerate and the only problem is that I do not spend much time doing publicity. My question to true book-lovers is this: Should one have to do much publicity? Do book-review editors not have a responsibility to introduce good books to their readers, whether or not publishers court them?)

Who can be surprised to see print newspapers start to fold?  They make all sorts of excuses -- blame Google -- but if you ask me, the main reason is simply laziness. They overlooked what might interest their readers.  If they overlooked me, who else have they failed to report upon?

Paraverse Press hopes it will soon prove to be the rule rather than the exception, that self-publishing will be seen in the same light that self-producing other forms of art are viewed rather than considered an exercise in vanity.   Please note that the author-publisher like the self-produced singer-songwriter has chosen to exercise his or her freedom to create and is not necessarily a second-rate artist who could not find a conventional press. That press, as far as I can judge, no longer exists. I am told by academic friends that even with academic presses they get precious little editing help.  If that be the case . . . why not do it yourself?

I am independent not by choice but because the greater good of literature now demands it.

Please visit  paraverse press, the place for all who seek creative non-fiction that is not journalism, and participate in the POD revolution.



So, where does the word paraverse come from? Almost a quarter century ago, I tried to put a piece of prose into poetry and found that I could not settle on any single version as “the best.”  The prose in question came from Japan’s Records of Ancient Matters, the line where the male deity observes that he has a part in excess and nowhere to put it, while the female deity observes she has the opposite dilemma.   I thought of my dozen or so poems as paraverses, and only came to use the verb "to paraverse" years later.  The variations on the single 6-character sentence from the  Tao Te Ching found on the Welcome page were also done about this time, and show that this art need not confine itself to verse.   After paraversing scores of ancient Japanese poems for fun, I began to translate haiku in earnest and this, finally, taught me that paraversing was not mere play but, surprisingly often,  the only way to bring out the multi-faceted meanings of the original, without losing the wit through excessive explanation.  (Googling teaches us that the common(?) paraverse was born in science fiction, but i did not know that when I first coined the term.  Luckily,  The Paraverse has room enough for all of us.)

Unlike most games, where a solution once achieved is worthless, a good paraverse is true literature, a keeper.  Follow the paraversing link to learn more and, if you wish to do so, participate. Or see the book-length exposition published in 2009, A Dolphin in the Woods.




This coconut was eaten by

someone in Crandon Park

on Key Biscayne, Florida.

Now it is named Daruma.



Contacting Paraverse Press


please e-mail the author-publisher

at uncoolwabin AT hotmail DOT com

for any good reason



Or find me

at social networking sites

including Tim Spalding's Librarything,

a place all book-lovers should visit,

Redroom, a site for authors

where I have a hitherto

under-utilized blog

or  Facebook.


All books listed below are 100% viewable at Google Books & may be found by going there and searching for "robin d gill."

An Essay Into Felinity

Though he has 95 cat years (# of cats x years with them), this is way out of Gill's field!  See the full chapter listing and a sample of the 100 sketches in the book description or go to Google Books, see more and let the author know if the book works for you! Cover picture is on the  New Books  page.

A DOLPHIN IN THE WOODS Composite Translation, Paraversing & Distilling Prose

See the full chapter listing for this indescribable book that is an invitation to turn rhyming verses into a game, critical essays on  books of multiple translation, and samples of the author's multiple-translation.  248 pp,  $2.34.  Cover picture is on the  New Books  page.

KYOKA, JAPAN'S COMIC VERSE  –  a Mad in Translation Reader.

The best of Mad In Translation gathered into a score of thematic chapters. Perhaps the best read of all Paraverse books. Find the cover on the New Books  page. For the list of chapters, please see the Description.  2009. 300 pp,  $24.

MAD IN TRANSLATION – a thousand years of kyōka, comic japanese poetry in the classic waka mode.

The translation and original of over 2000 poems representing the overlooked B-side of 31-syllable Japanese poetry.  2009. 740pp , $37. Please see the New Books page, the Description and table of contents  and the The Errata.

For our 2007 book with 1,300 dirty senryu, please see the New Books Page. There is a big surprise, so I could not put the title here. If you know the title, here are the Description, Gloss and Review pages.

Poems for the Re-creation  of the World

Description  of this book with almost 2,000 haiku about 20 themes
is the first to introduce the New Year Season (shinnenbu) of haiku.

468 pgs. $28.  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, etc. have it

The  poetry and philosophy of a flowering tree.

Description  of this book with about 3,000 translated haiku about the sakura and hanami, or, blossom-viewing.

740 pgs, $39.  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. have it. 

a translation and explication of Luis Frois S.J.'s TRATADO (treatise) listing 611 ways Europeans & Japanese are contrary, by robin d. gill

Description  of this tome with the most things Japanese within a single book since Chamberlain's book by that name. Find out about the start of cultural relativity in Europe.

740 pgs, $33.33. Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. have it.
& a Short Version, which is lighter and cheaper.
to swat or not to swat
An investigation into the roots of  Issa's famous fly-ku and the nature of anthropomorphism, not to mention many other old haiku about flies translated into English for the first time and some natural history,

232 pgs, $15.  Description here.  Sample  here.  Reviews here.

And, don't miss our smallest book,
Orientalism & Occidentalism
Is the Mistranslation of Culture Inevitable? 

Professors of comparative culture, translation and sociolinguistics, as well as all language-lovers, please take note!

180 pgs. $12. 

Our First Book, First Edition.
See the  Rave Reviews!

1000 Holothurian Haiku

by robin d. gill  was published on October 31, 2003. The sudden appearance of this 1,100,000 character, 480 page book ($25), with 1000 haiku in Japanese and 2000+ translations in English, may well be the premiere creative nonfiction event of that year (in English).  Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! should interest readers who appreciate essays, haiku and other poetry, natural history, biology, things Japanese, cultural anthropology, translation theory, metaphor and much more. 

Pre-publication comments

 From Haiku: “Keigu (the author’s haiku name) is not interested in making yet another collection of masterpiece haiku.  He would create an exhibition of sea cucumber [namako] and haiku or, to put it another way, a museum of poetic language.”  – Saibara Tenki, host of informal on-line haiku “pub” Ukimidō.  (Publisher’s note:  The book includes a full explanation of why poetry demanded “sea cucumbers” become “sea slugs,” and, to compensate, some information on the nudibranch! )

From Literature: Uke Namako (the Japanese title) is the most touching, fun, erudite, and altogether enjoyable thing I have read in ages. It is also the most intelligent approach to Japanese poetry I think I have ever seen. – Liza Dalby, anthropologist and author of Tale of Murasaki (and other fine Japan-related fiction and nonfiction, including Kimono and Geisha)

From Science: “It's amazing; I absolutely love it. I've spent many years studying my little friends and have always felt that they have been unkindly maligned or forgotten. The contrast between Japanese and European literature on cukes [sea cucumbers] couldn’t be greater . . . Alas, the divide between science and literature, even in terminology much less in theory, is quite vast at points and I admire your blending of the two in a deep and satisfying way.” –  Dr. Alexander Kerr, habitat evolution biologist, James Cook University).

If you think this is something, see the Reviews!

All of the above books are by  robin d. gill.  Gill, who grew up on Key Biscayne, Florida is a well-known author in Japan, where he had 7 books published by top Japanese presses, including Chikuma Shobo, Hakusuisha and Kousakusha in the 1980's and 90's and only began publishing in his native tongue in 2003, with Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!