Just a Touch Smitten: Work in Berlin

In this city that has finally managed to wound me in the course of a wicked subway rap battle, I still enjoy and crave the challenge: today, it’s prose production, the crumpling up of old schedules, the whipping of manuscripts into inboxes of distant editors, a throwing of oneself south to the archive to slake the thirst for more documents. In the past five days … Continue reading Just a Touch Smitten: Work in Berlin

Schriftsteller in Abattoir

The day is beginning in Berlin, and there is much to do: data to smash, thoughts to let float, writing to be combed through like twigs on a forest floor.  I thought I might make list and therefore represent the summery burdens which are, at times, light, and, at other times, groaning with incontestable weight.  The present projects in progress, die Werke im Aufbau!  I … Continue reading Schriftsteller in Abattoir


I finally realized that I need to earnestly return to the study Korean at some point and encounter frustration while controlling, consolidating and slowly expanding the frontiers of mercurial Mandarin.  Like Schumann and Heinrich Heine who battled and grew and merged at the top from the same ironic/romantic taproot, Chinese and Korean can duel it out and clamber up simultaneously.  Perhaps it can be said … Continue reading Pensee

Contemporary Japan 310/Narcissism 101

I get tons of great ideas from my students.  I’ve been back behind the lectern (sort of like being “behind the wheel” of a smoke-peeling and totally externally terrifying Nascar steed, not to be confused with being “under the wheel”/unterem Rad) for about three weeks now and I can’t count how many new ideas I’ve been exposed to. Just to rattle off a few: *North … Continue reading Contemporary Japan 310/Narcissism 101