a clarification

Chuck Stephens cougar71 at well.com
Mon Jul 29 01:47:05 EDT 2002

Mark Anderson writes:

>>Dear Chuck,
Surely you would grant that a discussion of Japanese film might reasonably
include a discussion of its Japanese title. That is not invention--it's a
title, selected by the director, in his native language. It is precisely a
question of taking Shinozaki seriously. Where is the know-it-all ism in
discussing the possible connotations of the Japanese title of a Japanese
film? You are effectively trying to enforce your institutional perspective
on the rest of us. I thank you to refrain from that in the future.<<

Mark, I never expressed any problem with the discussion of a Japanese 
title of a Japanese film. Indeed, I went so far as to call Joseph 
Murphy's association of the film's Japanese title with the title of 
"Kunikida Doppo's well-known collection of sketches from the Meiji 
period, "Wasureenu Hitobito"", fascinating. And I meant it -- even as 
I admit that I had to go and look up exactly who Kunikida was. Is his 
writing available in translation, do you know?

My objection to what Murphy originally wrote was that he included the 
Japanese title of the film, and his own personal and very clever 
associative translation for it -- *Unforgettable People* -- but 
neglected to mention the English-language title the film already 
possesses, one approved by its director: *Not Forgotten*. I asked 
only that this, the "actual", "release", 
not-chosen-by-a-publicist/critic/academic, English-language title, be 
mentioned, if not factored in.

(I also objected to what I perceived as a certain oneupsmanship in 
Murphy's first retort to me, but I'm now sure I over-reacted.)

For the record, I heartily endorse and look forward to the discussion 
of Japanese titles of Japanese films, as well as various titles in 
various languages for films of various origins, including Saturnian 
and/or in Ye Olde Esperanto.

As an individual, I don't believe I have an "institutional 
perspective" on anything, and certainly not the one you're attempting 
to pin on me here. Heck, you can't even qoute me properly: it was 
"know-better-ism", not "know-it-all-ism" -- a crucial distinction. I 
thank you to refrain from that in the future.

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