講演会「Lafcadio Hearn: Homeless Writer, Orphan Writings?」のお知らせ

熊本大学文学部附属 漱石・八雲教育研究センターで、公開講演会が開催されます。お気軽にご参加ください。

  • 日にち:2019年2月27日(水)
  • 講演会:13時00分-14時00分
  • ディスカッション:14時00分-14時30分
  • 会場:熊本大学グローバル教育カレッジ(黒髪北地区)交流ラウンジ(熊本市中央区黒髪2-40-1)
  • 題目:「Lafcadio Hearn:Homeless Writer, Orphan Writings?」
  • 講師:Prof. Dr. Mary Gallagher (University College Dublin, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics)
  • 使用言語:英語(ディスカッションのみ必要に応じて通訳有り)
  • 対象:どなたでも(事前申し込み不要)
  • 費用:無料
  • 主催:熊本大学文学部附属 漱石・八雲教育研究センター・熊本大学グローバル教育カレッジ
  • 問い合わせ先:irosmat*kumamoto-u.ac.jp(*を@に変更して送信してください)
  • リンク:当イベント情報当イベントリーフレット

ハーンが書かなかった作品(Lafcadio Hearn’s Unwritten Works)

アラン・ローゼン(Alan Rosen)(熊本大学准教授)

2009年(第11期)市民講座「ラフカディオ・ハーンとアイルランド文化」(5回シリーズの第4回)

熊本大学五高記念館

本講座を音声(mp3)でお聴きになれます。 

 

IN THE UNITED STATES
1. Collection of musical legends.
“I have been thinking that we might some day, together, work up a charming collection of musical legends: each legend followed by a specimen-melody, with learned discussion by H. Edward Krehbiel. But that will be for the days when we shall be ‘well-known and highly esteemed authors.’” (New Orleans 1883)

2. Financial novel.
The houses eleven stories high, that seem trying to climb into the moon, -the tremendous streets and roads, -the cascading thunder of the awful torrent of life, the sense of wealth-force and mind-power that oppresses the stranger here, -all these form so colossal a contrast with the inert and warmly colored Southern life that I know not how to express my impression. I can only think that I have found superb material for a future story, in which the influence of New York on a Southern mind may be described. … (Letters from the Raven 85-6; my emphasis)
But he eventually gave up this idea. Why?
But in such great cities [New York, London] I do not think a literary man can write any literature. …. Society withers him up–unless he have been born into the manner of it; and the complexities of the vast life about him he never could learn. Fancy a good romance about Wall Street-so written that the public could understand it! There is. of course, a tremendous romance there; but only a financier can really know the machinely, and his knowledge is technical. (XIV 292-93; my emphasis)

3. Medical novel.
Apropos of a medical novel, again-have you had occasion to remark the fact that among the French, every startling discovery in medicine or those sciences akin to medicine, is almost immediately popularized by a capital story? (XIV 22)
 I don’t like your plot for a medical novel at all. It involves ugliness…. Then your plot is too thin. It has not the beauty nor depth of that simple narrative about a famous painter, or writer-I forget which-whose imagination rendered it impossible for him to complete his medical studies…. He had to abandon medicine for art. A very powerful short sketch might be made of this fact.
 I believe in a medical novel-a wonderful medical novel. We must chat about it. Why not use a fantastic element-anticipate discoveries hoped for-anticipate them so powerfully as to make the reader believe you are enunciating realities? (XIV 62-63)

 

IN JAPAN
1. Article on drinking sake.
I have become what they call a jogo-and find that a love of sake creates a total change in all one’s eating habits and tastes. All the sweet things the geko likes. I cannot bear when taking sake. By the way, what a huge world of etiquette, art, taste, custom, has been developed by sake. An article upon sake-its social rules-its vessels-its physiologlcal effects-in short the whole romance and charm of a Japanese banquet, ought to be written by somebody. I hope to write one some day, but I am still learning. (XIV 160)

2. Article on words.
You recommend me to write an article on words some day. I would like to – from my own limited point of knowledge only; ignorance of philology would here be a great drawback. But it would be infinitely painful, laborious work. Because really the art of placing words is with most of us instinctive. It would be analyzing one’s own sensations and tendencies of imagination; it would be nearly as hard as to write another “Alice in Wonderland.” (XV 441-42)

3. Book on Japanese folklore.
“Professor Chamberlain and I have a secret project in hand-a book on Japanese folk-lore.” (Ellwood Hendrick, July 1893, XIV 236)

4. Article on the disappearance of the gods.
There are no ghosts, no angels and demons and gods: all are dead. The world of electricity, steam, mathematics, is blank and cold and void. No man can even write about it. Who can find a speck of romance in it? … The Protestant world has become bald and cold as a meeting-house. The ghosts are gone. Sometimes I think of writing a paper to be called “The Vanishing of the Gods.” (Chamberlain, December 1893, XVI 84)

5. Article on Japan’s “open ports.”
Coming out of my solitude of nearly five years to stand on the deck of the Kobe Maru on the 10th, I felt afraid, I saw myself again among giants. Everything seemed huge, full of force, dignity, massive potentialities divined but vaguely. A sudden sense of the meaning of that civilization I had been so long decrying and arguing against … came upon me crushingly. … How small suddenly my little Japan became!-how lonesome! What a joy to feel the West! (Yokohama, 15 July 1894, to Chamberlain, reprinted in Allen, 277)
I have received from the gods inspiration for a paper-the Romance of the Open Ports-or, perhaps, the morality of the open ports. … I could startle the world with a paper on the ideas that came to me the other day.
… In the brief time since I got on the Kobe Maru I have learned so many astonishing things … . My imaginary hard-fisted and cold-hearted businessmen of the colonies vanish away-phantoms only; and in their places what warm human realities appear! Really there is a vast romance to be written here in a few words-with help of thoughts and illustrations from evolutional philosophy. Really, I must try later to get into this exiled Western life, and love it, and study it, and tell all the beautiful things there are in it … . (Tokyo, 17 July 1894 to Chamberlain, reprinted in Allen. 278)

6. Article on Japanese drama.
Father used to express his desire to write on Japanese ‘No’ (a type of drama) and the theatre. At the time when Dr. Tsubouchi was praising ‘Ten-no-Amishima’ of Chikamatsu, father was asked about translating them, with the view to introducing them to foreign countries. But the plot of the story, where a man leaves his wife and child to elope with another woman, was against his belief, so he declined to undertake it (Father and I, 10)

7. Article on inter-racial marriage.
Father, one day, remarked to mother about the bad results from marriage of close relatives. But inter-racial marriage produced bad results too, he thought He was thinking of writing on the subject to a foreign paper. When he consulted his wife, she replied. ‘You are a product of inter-racial marriage-but are you a poor product?’ He replied, ‘At times I think I am a very poor result, almost a waste. This is a result of a very distant inter-racial marriage, I think. So, I just thought that I would write about.’ ‘But,’ mother said, ‘you write about such a thing, but you and I are two different races and what about our children? Is it right to acclaim to the world the poor product of such a marriage?’ He said to her, ‘Do you think so?’ and he tore up his manuscript. I think of that manuscript now and imagine all sorts of things. (Father and I, 13)

There is abundant proof, alike furnished by the intermarriages of human races and by the interbreeding of animals, that when the varieties mingled diverge beyond a certain slight degree the result is inevitably a bad one in the long run. . . . -there arise an incalculable mixture of traits, and what may be called a chaotic constitution. (Letter from Herbert Spencer to Baron Kaneko Kentaro, August 1892, XII 461)

Lecture and Study in Cincinnati and New Orleans, July and August 2001

Alan Rosen

This summer I was honored to be asked to speak on Lafcadio Hearn at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati, Ohio, the city where roughly 130 years ago this lonely and very hungry, half-Greek half-Irish boy discovered his talent as a writer and consequently changed Japan.
For me, visiting Cincinnati was especially interesting since, although I had grown up in the United States, I had never been there before.
It was the first of many “firsts” for me on this brief (one-week) but very full lecture and study trip together with about 30 enthusiastic members of the Lafcadio Hearn Society of Japan.
Though I have known the Society’s president, Professor Zenimoto, and the Kumamoto Hearn Society members for years, I was fortunate to be able to make the new acquaintance of many Hearn lovers from various parts of Japan — from Shimane and Tokyo, of course, but also from Toyama and Yamaguchi.

The speech I presented was one hour long on the topic of my recent research, Hearn and Dreams.
The weather that day was quite hot and humid, but the Library’s lecture room was very cool and comfortable. This was good and bad, I realized, as the combination of jet-lag for the Japanese listeners (it was 4 a.m. Japan time), the topic (dreams), and the extraeffort required to comprehend an academic talk in English created a nearly irresistible temptation for the Japanese audience to fall asleep. Which many of them did. Still, it was a rare pleasure for me to be able to speak about Hearn in my mother tongue and in the city of Cincinnati, about which I had read so much through Hearn’s writings.
My only concern was that I try to speak slowly enough for the Japanese members to keep up, but not too slowly so as to bore the native-speaker listeners.

There were many surprises. The first such surprise was the luxuriousness of the hotel room I was given at the Garfield Suites: apent house suite, two floors, two very spacious bedrooms, three bathrooms, a big kitchen with everything you could want including a dishwasher, and two balconies from which to enjoy views of the city.
This hotel room was largerthan my house in Kumamoto. Everyone who saw it said, “Mottainai”. I owe thanks to Dr. Tanaka and his family and to Sylvia Metzinger, the Rare Books librarian, for arranging this and many other things so perfectly.
In Cincinnati we had a custom bus-tour of the city, focussing on places related to Hearn’s life and writings.
Many of the buildings and houses are,of course, no longer standing, so it was interesting to watch many members of our tour group –including me– taking numerous photographs of empty spaces and parking lots and buildings that no longer have anything to do with Hearn except that they may be standing in a spot where we think Hearn used to do something.
Still, it was exciting to be in the same places Hearn had been.

The group’s next visit was to New Orleans. It was my first time there, too. I was dreading the heat, for it is supposedly one of the hottest cities in the US. But compared with summer in Kumamoto, it was not so uncomfortable at all. There was usually a good breeze, a tolerable level of humidity, and once you were in the shade, it was quite pleasant.
I enjoyed nearly everything about the city, and I felt I knew why Hearn had decided to live there so long.
It had polite and friendly people, excellent food (cajun and creole), charming architecture (French Quarter), live music (cajun and dixieland), and a special Southern atmosphere (full moon over the Mississippi River, a steamboat gliding down).

Our visits to the Tulane University Library, with special permission to access their collection of rare Hearn materials, were especially fruitful.
There was an abundance of manuscripts and other material that is very hard, if not impossible, to find in Japan. The staff seemed prepared for our arrival, as they were extremely helpful, kind, and tolerant of our sometimes noisy group of 30 excited visiting researchers. I did not know when I could get another chance to visit Tulane, so I thought it best tospend the entire day looking through the materials and copying, copying, copying.
My suitcase got very heavy, but I am content that I can now spend time leisurely reading over the thick stack of Hearn papers I brought back to Japan.

It was also enjoyable to be part of a Japanese tour group, not in Japan, where I have joined such tours, but in my own country.
This was another first-time experience, and I learned a lot from watching the two cultures interacting.
I was reminded that knowing the language of a countryis only the first step in intercultural communication, and that all of us who participate in the fascinating activity of crossing cultures need to continue our efforts to understand and to be understood. Wherever we went,Hearn was with us in spirit, as we all tried to be cross-cultural bridges for understanding.