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In Praise of History

Earl Miner, 1 March 1984

A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. I: The First Thousand Years 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by David Chibbett.
Macmillan, 319 pp., £20, September 1979, 0 333 19882 4
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A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. II: The Years of Isolation 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by Don Sanderson.
Macmillan, 230 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 22088 9
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A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. III: The Modern Years 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by Don Sanderson.
Macmillan, 307 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 34133 3
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World within Walls 
by Donald Keene.
Secker, 624 pp., £15, January 1977, 0 436 23266 9
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Modern Japanese Poets and the Nature of Literature 
by Makoto Ueda.
Stanford, 451 pp., $28.50, September 1983, 0 8047 1166 6
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Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake 
by Edward Seidensticker.
Allen Lane, 302 pp., £16.95, September 1983, 0 7139 1597 8
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... Japanese. In general, the translators provide a crisp, matter-of-fact version without nonsense. Don Sanderson seems to me to have done a very able job (Vols II and III). David Chibbett (Vol. I) is another matter. He (or the author) has apparently set the style for names. We are given Onono Komachi and Ariwarano ...

Elzābet of Anletār

John Gallagher, 21 September 2016

This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World 
by Jerry Brotton.
Allen Lane, 358 pp., £20, March 2016, 978 0 241 00402 9
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... these analogies between faiths: one observer of the Moroccan diplomatic delegation that visited London in 1600 wrote that ‘they use beads, and pray to saints,’ implying that they could be seen as more Catholic than Protestant. Bishop John Aylmer was worried by the hard-won ‘capitulations’ that officially established Anglo-Ottoman trading ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1984, 20 December 1984

... extracts from a diary I kept in 1978 while rehearsing and filming a series of six plays for London Weekend Television. Some of the plays were shot on film, some in the studio. If I prefer working on film to working in the studio it is for reasons which are largely frivolous. Being on location with a unit, like being on tour with a play, concentrates the ...

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