paraverse press Book Lines
All our books to date are by robin d. gill. The titles for unpublished books are tentative, some more so than others.
Look first! Our published books are 100% viewable at Google Books.
In Praise Of Olde Haiku is a project. Haiku originally had five seasons and this saijiki, or haiku almanac, will initially be published in five volumes, each with two books containing 10 themes. Later, five more volumes will provide the bottom half (a Japanese term) of the set. The research is 80% done; the writing 20%. The first volume is out, but selling so poorly that the project is on hold until I get enough funding that I can afford to stop doing other things.
The Fifth Season -- poems for the re-creation of the world. IPOOH Vol. I = 2000 haiku re. 20 themes of New Year's Haiku (shinnenbu), published on the Chinese luni-solar New Year, 2007 of 2007. Description. Perhaps a new name would help. Poems to Re-create the World -- New Year Haiku from Japan? Read it yourself at Google Books and give me your opinion!
IPOOH spin-offs -- Single-Theme, well-essayed anthologies of translated haiku
Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! (2003) Already a classic! Almost 1000 haiku, all about sea cucumbers (namako) on the average 200 years old, in the original Japanese, with romanization and multiple translations , arranged metaphorically and seasoned with natural history of both the scientific and the quirky ilk. ($25., 480 pg.) See: newbooks.htm risesample reviews risenews. The news has not been updated in a long time, but it keeps selling.
Fly-ku! (2004). Includes the discovery of a senryu behind Issa's famous fly who begs for mercy and explains why the anthropomorphism is largely a product of translation and inevitable because of accidents of language (220 pgs. $15). newbooks.htm fly-ku description, fly-ku review, fly-ku sample.
Cherry Blossom Epiphany (2006-7). Exciting drunken bashes, erotic metaphor, philosophic reverie. The translated haiku about cherry blossoms and their viewing include a score of waka, for unlike the case with sea cucumber, this haiku theme predates haikai and about 100 ku by Sogi a renga (linked-verse) master that predate the generally accepted date for the start of haiku by hundreds of years. Official date of publication was the Spring Equinox of 2007. A description including the table of contents and cataloging info is here. Reviews here! With 3,000 translated ku, this 740 pp book of the Poetry and Philosophy of a Flowering Tree is not expensive at $39.
Hot Haiku, Cold Haiku (201?) Where haiku can indulge in the game of hyperbole. Want to do this book with students, if possible. 20% done.
Cicada (201?). Includes Lafcadio Hearn essay/collected cicada poems. Will need a sound track. 40% done.
Swellfish Soup (201?). Life and death in haiku. Waiting for pictures. 50% done.
Mosquito Boast (201?). I will need to add many of my own haiku to this one, for I live without screens and do not dislike female mosquitoes for i tell myself they are looking out after my health as the loss of iron (with my blood) will increase my longevity if malaria doesn't kill me . . .10% done.
Dew (201?). One of scores of books braiding translated haiku on a single theme with natural history and cultural significance that I would hope to co-research and co-author with students.
Moon-viewing. Ditto with the above. In both cases, most of the students would need to be Japanese.
My book of dirty senryu was published on Halloween of 2007 under not one but TWO names as an experiment.
Octopussy, Dry Liver & Blue Spots: Dirty Themes from 17-18c Japanese poetry -- or, senryu compiled by ... (2007)
The Woman Without a Hole: & Other Risky Themes from Old Japanese Poems -- or, senryu . . .
A selection of about 1,300 senryu of the sort Blyth thought would never be printed (The censors wouldn't allow it.), with the originals and indexes, etc.. General information about may be found in New Books a description here, and a Table of Contents here. It was finished and published before other haiku work with the hope of getting much needed publicity which is starting to happen. See the review page. 504pp $24
MAD IN TRANSLATION – a thousand years of kyōka, comic japanese poetry in the classic waka mode. (2009) The first full-length introduction of might be called the free side of waka. Besides the 18-19c kyoka (kyouka) -- also called "mad poems" or "mad-cap verse" from the boom set off by the poetic and organizational genius of Ota Nanpo, we see what might be called wild waka (the most to date are found in Cranston's Waka Anthology 2a) and old kyoka mostly dating to the 16 and 17c., related poems such as squibs (rakushuu), death poems (jisei) moral poems (douka) and Chinese-style mad poems (kyoshi), not to mention mad haiku, I call kyoku. The author was fortunate to have much advice from Yoshioka Ikuo, a tanka devotee who would put the warai, or laugh, back in waka. My approach is even broader than his for I feel it necessary to introduce marginally "mad" wakato to establish the boundaries. Description of this 740pp 2000+ poems. $37.
Kyōka, Japan's Comic Verse: A Mad in Translation Reader (2009). This is a 300-page version of the above with easy-to-read thematic chapters and is recommended for classes. Description.
The Mullet in the Maid -- and the man in the ray (Fall 2006?). Erotic marine life in senryu, haiku and folksong. 50% done.
Issa Bluesman (?) -- the strategy behind Issa's poetry. Thousands of pages of manuscript! 10% done
Orientalism & Occidentalism: is the mistranslation of culture inevitable? ( 2004 ). Why translating between exotic tongues (Japanese and English) creates false stereotypes about the other and how this is caused by the limits of our respective languages (cannot be helped) and biased translation (can be helped). ( 180 pgs $12.00) newbooks.htm orisample.htm)
Topsy-Turvy 1585 --- 611 Ways Japanese and Europeans Differed according to Luis Frois, S.J. translated and explicated to no end. (2004) Frois's treatise (tratado), comprised entirely of two-line contrasts, is a classic (in Japan, anyway, for there are two pocket-books, one of which has gone about twenty editions). The original Portuguese is included and my notes comprise 95% of the book, so it is by robin d. gill rather than by Frois, but not only is all of this important work by Frois in it, but parts of his Historia and a book about a mission to Europe of Japanese youth never before translated into English, etc. (740 pgs! $33.33.) Introduction. Sample pages. Reviews List of 611 ways.
Topsy-Turvy: 1585 The Short Version (2005). This, too! (460 pgs. $23?) In Japan, one pocket books of Frois' 611 contrasts was a best-seller and another is a long-seller. Why this book which I can cut by half has not been snapped up by a major publisher is beyond me (Actually, I am afraid I know: they know or think they know everything and do not reach out for new things. It is why the author-publisher will soon run right by them!)
Exotic Tongues: Loving (and hating) Two Languages -- while 80% written, this may not be published for a few years.
A Dolphin in the Woods, In the Floods a Boar -- composite translation, paraversing and prose-distillation Hurricanes permitting, Late Summer or Fall 2009. Samples of my work in multiple translation and books collecting the same by others, including 100 Frogs, 19 Wang Weis, Le Ton Beau de Marot, etc. and other new material promoting paraversing -- playing with poetry -- as a game which beats crosswords as a product is created. Includes some drawings by Thomas Hood. 248pp $23.45 Description is here.
The Cat Who Thought Too Much -- an essay into felinity aka Han-chan’s Dream (2010, January 21). Imagine a cat who mastered more tricks than a highly trained dog, covered up cans of food he did not want before they were opened and could delicately touch a tiny finger-spun top repeatedly without stopping it. Han-chan was such a cat. His memory, preserved in notes and about 100 B&W sketches, inspired an authority on stereotypes of national character and translator of Edo era Japanese poetry to essay out of his fields and into felinity. Description here.
Five Thoreaus: My five notebooks of cut-out chunks of Thoreau's journal create something Borges suggested was possible for biographies: many people out of one. We have a Surreal Thoreau, Phenomenological Thoreau, Semiological Thoreau, Relational Thoreau and Ecological Thoreau. The work is 80% done, but I (a slow typist) would wait until I can hire someone to scan it in or until all of Thoreau's journal/s is/are up on line.
Tanuki Balls: the real racoon-fox and the legend (201?). An abbreviated account of my relationship with three generations of real tanuki is included in The Cat Who Thought Too Much. Ideally, the book should be fully illustrated and include Japanese prints that require more time to gather and obtain permissions than I have. This one must wait.
history & making history
The Nation With No Name (201?). A novel treatment of the same with almost the same name (Sebastian de Grazia: A Nation ~) has come out, but this is 30 years in the making and includes some very amusing correspondence de Grazia overlooked, so I will publish the 90% finished nonfiction treatment of the effort to give the United States a bona-fide National Name some day. Unfortunately, most of my manuscript is currently lost. If possible, I would like to finish this with students as co-authors.
Redressing the World (201?). Or, when and why men traded in their robes, dresses and skirts for bifurcated clothing, i.e. pants, what this means, and what, if anything, we should do about it. A chapter in my book Han-nihonjinron (1984) is the most thorough treatment of the subject to date, followed by a chapter in Alan Watts' best book, Does It Matter? Ideally, this book would be completed with students and cause a revolution in male clothing with the gain of freedom that entails.
Soft Is Beautiful (201?). The Occident, especially the new Rome, Imperial America, is obsessed with muscles and hardness. Once softness was considered desirable and to some of us, it still is. This is an effort to point out the unnatural muscle fetish of the West and a hymn to an alternative beauty. Even our manner of celebration is hard today. Compare the open palm of the past and the punches in the air today! See the box on the fist-pumping (Japanese call it a "gut's pose") bracken in Fly-ku!
The Palm and the Fist -- from waving to pumping (201?). Why and how was the loosely open hand replaced by the clenched one as a sign of victory and celebration in the USA and, increasingly throughout the world? Is the change harmless or does it reflect or even help to create a bellicose culture? One of many books, I would co-research and co-author with students.
The Accident of Beauty (201?). A book about personal beauty . It will include not only interdisciplinary but inter-cultural research. To give one example of the latter, the top Japanese researcher of personal beauty, credits/blames cosmetics makers for destroying the idea of beauty as something natural, i.e., something we are born with or without, in favor of an egalitarian or democratic beauty as something made, which we may all acquire by hard work. The title comes from Oliver Wendell Holmes. Outside of haiku, this is my leading area of expertise, for I have researched on and off for over 30 years. My juvenile title "The Myth of Beauty" was taken by another who, as it turns out, wrote an all too juvenile book. This book will be finished if/when I have university students to co-author with/
"The thin is more naked, more indecent, than the fat." - Baudelaire
recently wrote an essay: "The Thin Man's Complaint" which, with any luck
will be carried by The Exquisite Corpse and cause a commotion for it is
quite the polemic! In a word, the fat majority of the USA do not
realize that they have it made. We who are involuntarily thin know
how lucky they are to be free to make their bodies. It will be
followed by "Soft is Beautiful."
Revolution – experiments to change the future of music-making. I
have many notebooks and sketches of the instruments and devices made to
play them, as well as research into non-Western instruments. The
book can not be written until a conclusion is reached. Maybe dueling on
stage with a top bluesman? Let me describe the basic idea. A good friend
could play any complex instrument well, but could not warble folk-songs
like me. I was the vice versa and no amount of study changed it.
So, decades later, I experimented with one. two and three-string
instruments that could be, as it were, played by feel . . ..
Had I only a wee amount of the money that most Americans waste, I would
have taken a number of patents for some wonderful basic inventions.
I will divulge more later. Let me just say that I feel
confident my inventions and discoveries can lead to a musical revolution
that can finally get us past the 1960's (Am I the only one tired with the
lack of originality in instrumental music today? Of course, there are some great
singer-songwriters and we get to hear more non-Western music,
but we are not doing much to create original melody and harmony). But
this is only so much jive, until I can make some better instruments and
prove them live!
Hyper-short Animation. Experiments with flip-books taught me what computers and the internet could have allowed to happen in the 90's but, unfortunately did not. Namely, to inspire hundreds of millions of people to spend much time doing what might be called creative sketching or animation not at all related to the stereotypical animation we are now stuck with. It is a matter of developing the right hardware and software and creating the proper platform to launch it. If it here, I would probably stop writing or write only a tenth of the time and devote the rest to morphing the world in 2-100 frames.
If anyone reads this who has 100 million dollars to invest . . . (Hey, a writer has a right to dream!)
I have done a couple book translations, but here I mean doing a translation as a paraverse press book.
I am thinking about translating a book about the culture of snowflakes (after obtaining the original which I do not now have) and another about imaginary tools presented as if they actually existed, but only after I have an assistant to help speed my own books along or students to work with.
With 10,000 haiku, senryu, kyoka and waka translated within my books, I am already translating, but with 99.9% of books published in English categorized as "original" or "translated, " my in-between books have, so far, failed to find the support they deserve. Grants go for works of translation with the name of the foreign author attached, while I serve hundreds or thousands of poets, most long dead.
If you know of any foundations or journals gutsy enough to serve not only the 99.9%, but the 00.1%, please let me know.
- rdg. email@example.com