A discussion followed in which I no longer took notes – my arm was hurting terribly at this point. General impressions: Kiriu is egotistical but in a very interesting way, in a grand tradition of literary egoists. I didn’t find her to be like that one-on-one at all, but on stage, she spoke first and always spoke longest, she managed to tell us that she had seven different pen names, that she was a science-fiction writer as well as a poet, that she has won prestigious prizes, and that she came from a suburb of Tokyo whose aspiration, when she was growing up, was to be utterly interchangeable with any other suburb, like the one in “Bewitched,” and that she therefore considers herself to have come from a kind of factory. With her severe “literary” bob and kakko-ii men’s suit, I was really interested in how she was playing the role of herselves and also how she was breaking the rule of modesty for Japanese women in her discourse style. She certainly fits a kind of market niche of a new hipster perception of what’s cool about Japan – sort of a woman-poet version of Takashi Murakami but with serious gender smarts and a helluva lotta moxie.
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on Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 12:49 PM.
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