Saturday, April 22, 2006

If you've never had the pleasure of reading the blog Maldoror Loves My Bradly then get your booty over there this instant. This woman rocks my world.

In fact, today, she brought to my attention a fairly recent literary happening in Nihon -- keitai tanka. I had never heard of this but I am fascinated. It is the art of tanka, which is a form of waka (Japanese poetry) that is similar to haiku, but the twist here is that it is composed and disseminated via mobile phone.

My first reaction was, eh?

But then I instantly felt guilty for being such a fucking elitist. Poetry for the people, right? While more modern tanka has been a studied art form, I was discussing it with Trevor and he said he recalls that tanka started out as a "literary game" for Japanese commoners, but "evolved" into a poetry form for the Japanese elite.

I have a serious hypocritical conundrum about art, including the literary arts. At once, I am really weary and wary of pretension. I loathe people who are high and mighty about certain types of art while dismissing others as worthless. But then again, without discernment, we're left with a situation where anyone who has opposable thumbs and can work a mobile is a poet. I used to have a roommate who was an art student. We used to get into huge verbal brawls about whether art therapy was "art" -- me being on the yes side, him on the no. Roll your eyes, folks, but we were in college, that's what you do.

I guess what we should've been arguing about was not ART, but how YOU define art, and how YOU define bad art. In that context, he may have thought art therapy was bad art. I maintain that if it supplies satisfaction, or speaks to you, or makes you feel and/or think, or is just plain old kickass to you, its good art. What I think is kickass or satisfying, might make you break out in hives. Alright.

So, 21 year old Japanese girl with 3 keitai tanka books to your name, roll on with your bad self. And according to Wikipedia, "Japanese poet and critic Masaoka Shiki created the term tanka in the early twentieth century for his statement that waka should be renewed and modernized." Fitting.

And YOU -- check out Bradly's blog, where you can appreciate her brilliant juxtaposition of YouTube and keitai tanka. Quality paradox indeed.


Blogger LoveMyBradly said...

oh, thanx for the compliment;) I truly appreciate what you've said, you fill my heart with joy! arigatai koto desu)) *it's a blessing*

as for keitai tanka...
I like the following piece by this 21 year old girl (Chie Kato):

Kissing in the toilet of Lotteris (Japanese burger chain!)
Maybe this is definitely the first and last time.

I think there's some really deep sad feeling in it... if that girl isn't just a dummy... anyway, I'm sure it will be popular among indie kids of all sorts, who now claim themselves to be the ultimate source of new art forms...

may your garden be sweet!

May 2, 2006 at 1:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger saudade said...

You're welcome sweetie. Cheers to you for bringing me joy as well!

BTW, that's a lovely keitai tanka. Even if she's a dummy, it's beautiful. Weirdly beautiful, like an open wound.

I understand too -- I've been in the toilet at Lotteria in Harajuku and *shudder* it may be the first and last time for me too. :)

May 3, 2006 at 12:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger LoveMyBradly said...

hee hee, is it that unpleasant?..
now I think I've misunderstood something in this poem ;P

May 3, 2006 at 2:10:00 AM PDT  

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