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Member: dcozy

CollectionsYour library (2,617), Currently reading (2), All collections (2,617)

Reviews68 reviews

TagsFiction (1,230), Poetry (230), Japan (201), Criticism (171), Essays (121), Philosophy (97), Memoir (94), Biography (93), Art (83), History (59) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meWhat have I read this year? Check the sidebar at:

About my library"Without this working library, I would have no compass, no map, to guide me through the density of our human condition."

--Jack Stauffacher

GroupsAmerican Postmodernism, Ancient China, Ancient History, Asian Fiction & Non-Fiction, Author Theme Reads, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Beat-itific, Classical Music, Dalkey Archive, Fans of Russian authorsshow all groups

Favorite authorsKōbō Abe, Walter Abish, Jane Austen, Samuel Beckett, John Berger, Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Paul Bowles, Raymond Chandler, John Crowley, Guy Davenport, Avram Davidson, Mike Davis, Samuel R. Delany, Charles Dickens, Rikki Ducornet, Edward Gorey, Lewis Hyde, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Javier Marías, David Markson, Haruki Murakami, Alvaro Mutis, Patrick O'Brian, Marcel Proust, Thomas Pynchon, Simon Raven, Donald Richie, Richard Rorty, Norman Rush, James Salter, Gary Snyder, Susan Sontag, Wallace Stevens, Robert Stone, Paco Ignacio Taibo I, Dylan Thomas, Anthony Trollope, Enrique Vila-Matas, Edmund White, Edward Whittemore (Shared favorites)


Also ondelicious, Facebook, Flickr,, Twitter

LocationChigasaki, Japan

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/dcozy (profile)
/catalog/dcozy (library)

Member sinceDec 10, 2006

Currently readingInsatiability: A Novel in Two Parts (Quartet Encounters) by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) by James M. McPherson

Leave a comment


The names are confusingly similar. I've seen almost all of Masaki and Masahiro, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Ever watch any Masahiro Kobayashi films? Bashing, Man Walking on Snow, etc., very interesting, Truffaut meets Ozu. ;-)
that's reassuring. Thanks for letting me know.
Good old Richie.

You're very welcome, I am glad you liked my review of Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders and even gladder to see from your own review that you liked the novel, too. And I know what you mean - through all their sexual escapades and the minutely reported trivia of their everyday life, Eric and Shit just grow on you without you noticing, and I think if you made it that far, it is pretty much impossible not to be moved to tears by the novel's ending. It's a great book, and I think it very unlikely that I will be reading anything better this year.
Thanks for the maqroll recommendation. I checked it out and have bought it. After reading portions of it on line, my first thought was that you would enjoy one of my favorite books - Palinuro of Mexico. Turns out it is in your library.
Hey, Happy Golden Week!
I'm not sure those two even read it, I think they're just enjoying some bashing and bullying of the class enemy, or whatever it is "snobs" mean to them.

Pity, ever since my niece and nephew appeared on the scene, I've developed a very lively personal interest in the original topic.
Hi David,

I've gotten some nice play on the new novel's prologue. Please check it out at

Best Alex
Hello and thanks! Our respective bushes seem to contain some of the same ghosts.
no! I hadn't noticed!

unplanned & accidental & likely to change.

Turns out that netflix has "Still Walking". Also "Nobody Knows" and a "save" for
"Air Doll". I'll check it out.

Haven't seen it. Looks like there's still no am. distributor. Netflix has 6
films. Hana is the only one I've seen. What's the english trans.?

I just watched Hana. Excellent. Lately I've been on a Gosha binge; Sword of the Beast, Wolves, Geisha, Onimasa. I'm a big Nakadai fan. Human Condition and
Harakiri are two of the greatest films ever made.
Thanks for adding me as an "interesting library" - I'll try to live up to your expectations!
Your prompt and specific response much appreciated, dcozy. Perfect reading for the coming winter.
Hello. Saw somewhere on LT a favorable comment you made about Simon Raven, whom I know and admire, but only thru his work on The Pallisers. Any recommendations on where best to begin further exploration? Thanks.
Appreciate your recent pithy and intelligent reviews on LT, esp. as I don't get over to read your wonderful blog often enough. Okage-sama de, my "wish list" is growing.
Sorry to hear Mams not as good. Bought English, A!
Please make your NYRB group comment on English, August into a review! P.S. How about The Mammaries of the Welfare State? also by Up. Chatterjee?
Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken! This former Chibaite says thanks for the add.
Yes, we have some interesting overlaps in our respective collections. Thanks for "interesting library"-ing me, too. And interestingly enough, I read Guy Davenport's "Every Form Evolves a Function" just a few months ago. What an amazing mind and what a great prose stylist.

And... I very briefly lived in Japan, in Fukui, the summer of '87, right after high school. My mom (a Russian emigre born in Vladivostok) actually grew up in Karizowa (am I spelling that right?) and Yokohama. I'll be checking out your blog!
Why does the Gracq thread make me think of this?
I just read Sayonara, Gangsters, and while trying to find out more about Takahashi Genichiro found an article that you wrote five years ago in the Japan Times. Have you heard whether anything else of his is supposed to be translated soon? Michael Emmerich, the translator of SG, has mentioned him in Calque, but nothing re another translation. (Now I'm reading If This Be Treason, by Gregory Rabassa, Vila-Matas' translator, and Musil's The Man Without Qualities.)
Thanks for designating my library interesting, and for turning me on to Roubaud, Vila-Matas, and Jane Gardam; the last time I was on here I went to your book list. I just read Cloud Atlas/David Mitchell, very worthwhile, and another recent read that I especially loved was The Grasshopper King/Jordan Ellenberg.
Thanks for your reply--I hope you'll pardon my saying that that is soooooo cooool. :)
Thanks for letting me know about Dave Hickey. I've been meandering through some information about him and stumbled across a podcast interview (Sept. 2007) of him on Nevada local NPR station which was very refreshing. Apparently he came to LV in the '90s and had been teaching in UNLV's art dept., but at the time of the interview he'd moved over to the creative writing dept. He touched on the 'town and gown' politics in the city as well as the odd environment for creativity. (In my own words, paraphrasing, LV is a very open, permissive environment, and perhaps very tolerant, but is NOT an 'accepting' environment for artists, or for that matter, for any intelligent creativity that pushes the limits of ordinariness). Now that I've heard his voice and seen a picture of him, I formed an opinion that ordinary people in LV (meaning those who asked him to leave the art dept.) probably couldn't accept his "lack of self-censorship" and most likely could not discern his intelligence. Interesting.
I love your Japan Times review of Donald Richie's _Botandoro_ and felt lucky to grab a copy at Kinokuniya the other day.

Enormous thanks for featuring my Black Glasses Like Clark as one of Best of Asia 2008!

Terese Svoboda

From the fourth grade through about the 10th I was an inveterate plagiarist. But I almost always plagiarized from a 1958 Encyclopedia Britannica. In order to copy from it, I had to look up 50% of the words in a dictionary and come up with simpler words to obscure my m.o., and ensure the teacher would understand it. That prose was dense! I spent so much time doing that, I firmly believe, that I gained a considerable vocabulary in the process.

It all ended when I re-wrote in its entirety a short story I really loved by James Thurber called "Snapshot of a Dog". I was really proud of my rewrite, particularly as I'd knocked it down to about 4 pages longhand. The teacher brought it over to me, her brow furrowed like a word was on the tip of her tongue and said, "Is this... hmm, Is this Thurber?" I was so delighted I said, "Yeah!", before I remembered I had plagiarized it. So I got an F on the story, but I think that the teacher and I were both sort of proud of my labor.

-- Gerry

Actually I have; I'm a pragmatist. It's ironic because the only person in the country who could help me write this book and understood where I was going with my ideas just happened to be the professor of the first class that I walked into when I came to college! His name is James Livingston, you might have heard of him (but I doubt it; 99% of historians think his work belongs in imagination land).
Hi dcozy,

Thank you for adding me to your list. I see that you are a Murakami fan- I just finished Kafka on the Shore a couple of days ago. I liked it and it is still resonating with me. I think it is a book that I should reread because of all of its metaphysical layers. I felt the same way about Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. I also saw that you are a Wallace Stevens as am I. My favorite poem of his is "Sunday Morning." Your favorite list is impressive, inspiring. I haven't read many of the authors on it, but I have the ambition! I keep telling myself I can catch-up when I retire or when the "house is quiet and the world is calm," but then I suppose one never has enough time to read good books.
posted by Clea at 9:47 pm (EST) on Aug 12, 2008 | delete
Great review of the Lewontin book. Not knowing what it was, I was ready to be in up in arms. But then you cut these received ideas down. I was lucky enough to see Lewontin give a lecture when the book first came out. I still think of some of the things he said in it. If you ever get a chance to see him in person, do take it!
Hi dcozy

Inspired by your rave reviews, I've found out where I can borrow the whole of Simon Raven's Alms for Oblivion sequence. But I was wondering whether I should read them in publication order or in order of the internal chronology - the latter is the obvious choice but it feels strange to read them out of the order they were written. What do you think? Thanks for the advice!
Your new acquisition - For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut - looks intriguing!
Thank you so much for your terrific review of Black Glasses Like Clark Kent! I'm delighted. When I published the book, I thought most of the response would be from PTSD-suffering soldiers, but the more enthusiastic have been the Japanese. I even received a letter from a man whose father had been a translator for MacArthur--and took the only footage of the Japanese internment camps!

Now if one could only get to the people who are against torture!

Thanks again,

Terese Svoboda
And likewise, thanks for adding me to your list. I kept looking at yr books and thinking "i need to read that and that and that...
I absolutely loved Against The Day. Whether it is the best Pynchon has written I cannot say (though I also loved Mason & Dixon) but it is certainly one of the most rewarding books I've read in years.
Now reading Gob's Grief by Chris Adrian, a book that also propels historical characters into a (modestly) alternate reality.
Cheers, Allan
After your pointer to the review of "Scarlet Gang", I've started working my way backwards through your reviews in Japan Times ( for interested bystanders). I thought these reviews had come to a close, so I'm glad to see their have been new ones added recently. I'm still working on the older ones though.

I appreciate you championing Richie. He's such a gem. I imagine wit and panache in his grocery lists. I recently found "The Japan Journals", but it is lodged in my stack a few feet down.

-- Gerry

We're up and rolling on the GEB read at
Looking forward to your comments. Jim
Hi David,

English is fine with me as you may guess from the large number of english books in my library.
Yes, you're right, I got interested in your library mainly for the japanese stuff. I stumbled over one of your posts in the Japanese Literature group, where you linked to one of your book reviews in the Japan Times. Which led me to look around for more of your reviews at the Times. Funnily enough you just compared Haruki Murakami (of whom I like WUBC and his collections of short stories the most) to Paul Auster (which was my one of my favorite writers back in the 90s (City of Glass, In the Country of Last Things and Moon Palace being my favorite books, having read Moon Palace alone several times since then), but who got really boring in his recent books) in a review of a book of Yoko Tawada, who writes a lot in German and whom I like for her playful and experimental writings (of which I struggle to imagine how to translate them adequately into another language).

How I got interested in the "archipelago" you ask (owning a quantity of books from and about Japan which long surpassed the number of books about my profession (the craft of building software) indeed lets one presume a certain interest ). For a long time I had an unspecific zest for asian cinema and cuisine when a few years ago on a lazy early summer's afternoon I happened to start reading Cees Nooteboom's Rituals (which I had sitting on my shelf for years), in which the short novel Thousand Cranes of Yasunari Kawabata plays a central role. Curious, I started to read the books of Kawabata, followed by Inoue, Mishima, Oe (The Silent Cry!), Abe (Woman of the Dunes, of which I rate the film adaptation which Abe himself did together with Teshigahara even higher than the book) which opened a completely new literary world to me ... as I got more and more intrigued I supplemented my literary diet with non-fictional books about Japanese culture, history, society and language and even started to learn some Kanji (and never managed to memorize more than about 200, having started over twice) and a few bits of spoken Japanese.

So one may blame Cees Nooteboom, whom I learned to like for his travelogues, for my yet insatiable and still growing interestand curiosity for the nipponese archipelago.

Well, enough for today. The post-man brought the German translation of Botchan today which eagerly awaits to be read ...
I'm having my publicist send you a copy of Black Glasses. Hope you find it of interest!

Thank you for your queries about my new memoir, Black Glasses Like Clark Kent. My uncle wasn't especially famous. You can see the video for it at and excerpts are posted on Critical Mass, the National Book Critic Circle's blog.

If you'd like to review the book, send me your snail mail address. I think readers in Japan would be particularly interested, at least from the interviews I did there two years ago. No one seems to have asked the Japanese how they felt about being occupied!

Terese Svoboda
I think it was the Davenport that first led me to your library, but I was taken with your range of interests, and was interested to keep up on what you are adding to the collection. Have a lovely 2008.

I also discovered your library via Thouv... I agree with aipotu's recommendations for Roubaud. They are kinds of autobiographical essays, but Roubaud also wrote strange novels such as La Belle Hortense which is worth reading. It's difficult to find something else I like and you've not read yet, but I noticed that you've got no Huysmans in your catalogue. A rebours is his best-known novel—but I don't like it very much. (Some do!) Les Soeurs Vatard is one of his early novels. Not well-known. Very dark and Zola-like. I'm enjoying it at the moment.

Best wishes,


PS And also, if you like Oulipo or rather pre-oulipian writers, Raymond Roussel's Comment j'ai écrit certains de mes livres.
Just wondering if there's an english translation of
Human Condition by Jumpei Gomikawa? None that I can find.
I was looking for gardeners in Japan. No gardening books, but a decent overlap in classic literature. Love your avatar.
I discovered your library via Thouv who added our two libraries in his "interesting libraries".
As I see only authors I like (Beckett, Borges, Dostoïevsky, Gombrowicz, Pynchon...) or plan to read in your library, I think of taking it as a starting point to choose my next readings especially with regard to american and japanese authors.

My favourite french living author is Jacques Roubaud, and his masterpiece is a series of five books :
Le Grand Incendie de Londres (available in english translation : The Great Fire Of London)
La Boucle
La Bibliothèque de Warburg

Regarding my wine tastes, living in Bordeaux does not make me an expert but I appreciate Côtes de Castillon and Côtes de Blayes wines wich are usually not too expensive.
Hi, We have favorite authors in common, so I looked you up and noticed your erudite library. Right now I am reading for review "Islamic Narrative and Authority in Southeast Asia" by Thomas Gibson. I bought and am reading "In Pursuit of Knowledge" by Deborah L. Rhode. For fun I am reading "Two Girls Fat and Thin" by Mary Gaitskill. I liked Gaitskill's first book "Bad Behavior" very much and also for fun I recommend "Rock Springs" by Richard Ford. (Both are short stories.)
I am also American so English is fine with me.

What's one French novel which not everyone knows about but discerning readers should read? Well... All the ideas I have are already in your library, maybe because I (paradoxically?) haven't read much French literature, or rather have not read much of any literature (being 22 helps).

Play-wise, though, I recommend you read The Devil & The Good Lord by Sartre as well as Caligula by Camus - not their most famous plays but their best, according to me.


Excellent news - looking forward to hearing (seeing) more from you. It looks like LT has enabled, through techmology, the germ of a cult of refined taste.
Welcome to group Fin de Siecle. Not to lean upon a facile hermeneutic, but noticing your locus as Japan, I invite you to submit any material you may be aware in Japanese (etc.) literature that corresonds, however loosely, to our themse, which, in the end, eschews the familiar and welcomes the novel, the eccentric, the strange, the baldly random. I am aware of Edogawa Rampo, The Japanese themed tales of Lafcadio Hearn, but little else.
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