Category Archives: Life

Reading shelf, September 2016

Currently reading: C.G. Jung: Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (vol. 2) (seminar notes) J.G. Ballard: Empire of the Sun (fiction) Eric Hobsbawm: Age of Extremes (nonfiction)   Just finished: J.G. Ballard: Extreme Metaphors (interviews) Ursula K. LeGuin: The Earthsea Quartet (fiction)    

Collecting books

Until about five years ago, I would hesitate to buy books if I had other, unfinished books that I was currently reading. It seemed irresponsible to “start on something new” without finishing things that were in progress. This is the kind of attitude that leads you to visit every single room and see every single […]

Worlds on display

In fashion shop interiors, I often see objects that suggest a certain environment, assemblages that seem to be taken from a different setting altogether. For example, very old sewing machines to suggest craftsmanship (even as the clothes are made in China with the latest equipment). Or piles of old books, sometimes surprisingly carefully selected (who picks […]

Concert review: free jazz at Nanahari, Sep 19

The performers: Kevin McHugh from the US on piano, Hugues Vincent from France on cello, as well as an Australian clarinet player, and Japanese cello and flute players and a drummer. The venue: Nanahari – “seven needles”, 七針 – a small basement in Hachobori, east Tokyo, in an authentically Showa-era building. We are partly transported […]

Teilhard de Chardin, Nietzsche and individuation

On a friend’s recommendation I started reading Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man. De Chardin was a Jesuit and a paleontologist who in this work attempted to reconcile his Christian beliefs with evolution and natural selection. The result is an intense work of great ambition, rich with vivid metaphors. By chance I was leafing […]