Lord Dunsany’s Fifty-One Tales is a collection of short stories that I recently decided to give a try. I started off with “The Messengers,” a fantastical tale about muses and their messengers. Unlike what I was expecting, the tale is far more metaphorical than it is plot driven. However, within the tale we can pick out a sad lament about what it is like to be a creative thinker. As always, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and not reflective of some magical objective fact.
“Beyond the Door” is an intriguing science fiction story written by Philip K. Dick. There is little science to be found in the story, yet at the surface level it still deals with mankind’s fears of anything manmade. However, in the case of this story, the technology works as a metaphor to address other life paranoias. Though there are certainly a plethora of interpretations of the work, the one I wish to focus on today is that of relationships and taking things for granted. As always, remember the interpretation of the work is my own and simply opinion.
One of the few Japanese fairy tales I knew existed was the one about Urashima, if only because several animes and manga I’ve watched/read throughout the years have referenced it. I’ve never read it until now, and boy was I surprised! The tale is a lot different than expected, and in some cases its moral fables send mixed messages. With that being the case, today’s analysis I want to discuss these contradictions, and ponder what they could ultimately mean. As always, this is my own interpretation of the piece, and also remember this is a Westernized viewpoint since I am not Japanese.
Revisiting some Japanese fairy tales once again this week, I checked out another from Yei Theodora Ozaki’s collection: “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow.” While the tale is a fairly clear fable of the virtues of humbleness and kindness, the story also offers a positive message about redemption being possible for anyone. As always, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and not reflective of a definitive fact. Additionally, remember I am not Japanese, so while I will remain respectful to the culture, my view is ultimately Westernized.
Fairy tales always have a unique aspect of weirdness, but sometimes the extent can’t be truly appreciated until you read one from another country. Having a keen interest in Japan, I decided to switch gears today and check out some Japanese fairy tales, ones translated and collected by Yei Theodora Ozaki specifically. I was definitely not disappointed in my endeavor to find a unique tale, one that at its heart promotes how three key traits are need to lead a prosperous life. As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the tale. I am also including an extra disclaimer that I am not an expert on Japanese culture, and that my viewpoint is through a Westernized lens; as such, certain symbolic gestures I might miss or get entirely wrong. My intent is not insensitivity, but I feel attempting to interpret the piece is still worthwhile as all literature interpretation is a personal matter.
Finishing off H.G. Wells’ story “A Story of the Days to Come,” we are treated somehow to an even darker message about the nature of death. By and large, this chapter promotes the sentiment that we are all equal death, and makes no qualms about being pretty blunt with the message. However, there is a smaller message of interest that I would like to discuss today. Not only are we all equal in death, but how we’re remembered is not always the way we imagine. Remember, as always, the following is my interpretation of the piece and not reflective of an objective view.
In today’s society where most people have smart phones in their pocket, it’s easy to forget that technology and advanced society has its downfalls. There are plenty of people who refuse to learn the basics of technological advancements and always feel at odds with society because of it. If only things could go back to the good old days, right? Well this week in H.G. Wells’ story “A Story of the Days to Come,” we hit a more special crossroads: the downfalls to advanced society and the downfalls of not having an advanced society. As always, the following is my interpretation of the piece. My opinion is just that, and what you take away from the chapter is just as correct.
H.G. Wells’ story “A Story of the Days to Come Chapter 3” takes a rather dark turn for the tale. While other chapters so far focus on technology related issues, this chapter tackles a very topical social issue: poverty. In this chapter, we see a dark depiction of mankind, that not only reminds us social issues are a problem of character, but that our tendency to value people via what they produce has a dark side to it.
Continuing from last week’s post, this week we are continuing H.G. Wells’ story A Story of the Days to Come. “Chapter 2 The Vacant Country” tells a common tale of leaving the city for the country. However, within its text is a stark criticism of our tendency to romanticize the past, particularly in fictional stories. Upon close inspection, though, the tale also criticizes us for romanticizing the future. Before I begin, remember the following is my own interpretation of the story. If you have your own thoughts on it, I’d be happy to hear them.