The Mixed-Up Encyclopedic Literature Dictionary (Excerpt)

The Mixed-Up Encyclopedic Literature Dictionary (Excerpt)

(Ranchou bungaku daijiten)

by TSUTSUI Yasutaka (筒井康隆)
published 1986 by Kadokawa Shoten


avant-garde 【avɑ̃ɡaʁd】- an old-fashioned artistic movement.


Bell Tolls, For Whom the – It tolls for Little Jimmy Brown, of course.

Beckett, Samuel – French playwright. Apparently waiting for someone called Gotō to come?


deadline 【ˈdedlɑi̯n】 – For monthly magazines, ten days before publication. Weekly magazines, one day before. Newspapers, one hour before. Illustrations are usually done first.


Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich – creator of the monster Potemkin. Referred to as one of the three greatest scientists, along with Einstein and Frankenstein.


irony 【ˈaɪ.rə.ni】- Long ago in England lived a poet named George Gordon Iyron. This poet was ignorant, and so he made use of various words incorrectly. And ignorant readers, not realizing this was a mistake, praised it as splendid mockery or as sarcasm. This is whence the word ‘irony’ came to be. In modern times, as well, when something is full of splendid mockery or sarcasm, it is largely by mistake due to the author’s ignorance.


Lady Chatterley’s Lover – Like the Japanese translator of this novel, Ito Sei, I want to fight against the forces of the old order, but the best I can do is smoke weed.


Miyazawa, Kenji – Not defeated by reviewers
Not defeated by the old masters
Not defeated by editors nor my bar tab
Really having quite a nerve
Fettered with money
Never losing temper
Always sneering
Every day four cups of whiskey
Herring roe and some rice to eat
If there is a dead author to the east,
Going to the funeral and shit-talking the deceased
If some guy has lost it to the west,
Rushing over to mock them
If there is a prize winner to the south,
Going and saying there’s no need to be afraid
If some guy has broken his leg skiing to the north,
Doing the same to match him
Where there are earthquakes, finding them funny
Where there are fires, going to watch them burn
Everybody saying “let sleeping dogs lie” about me
Without being busy
Or being idle
If I become such an author,
Finally I will have matured.


Nabokov, Vladimir 【vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr nɐˈbokəf】 – Author of Lolita, although he was 55 at the time. Old masters of Japan, rouse yourselves!

nouvelle vague 【nuvɛl ˈvag】 – a new form of ambiguity discovered by the French.


Pen Club – a social club for pens.

pen name – a pen’s name. Examples: Phnom Penh, bull pen, lumpen.

Peter Pan – a children’s novel about a love triangle (Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinker Bell).


Stranger, The – novel by the French author Albert Camus. A kind of crime novel, but not enough of a masterwork to bring the author fame. A total bomb, actually. Killing a man because the sun was too bright is not only too weak as a motive for murder, but there is also absolutely no foreshadowing. The trial scene lacks impact. Parts with little connection to the section at hand are grandiloquent, boring one slightly. However, more than any other reason, it may be called a complete failure as it does not present a single new trick or idea for a murder.


Tale of the Heike, The – The angry shouts of the geisha of Gion
Echo the greed of all things.
The color of the bleached white cotton face
Reveals the truth that one’s genitals are bound to wither.
He who is rich is not so for long,
Like a cat made to hit out.
He who can get it up finally cannot,
To be no more than a melted candle.

Tsutsui, Yasutaka – (Zool.) Mammalia animalocus. Technical name slapstickus paradoxus. Belonging to the SF species of the novelist genus, he is content underground in the Aoyama neighborhood, building his nest.

tranquilizer 【ˈtræŋkwəˌlaɪzɚ】 – another drug kept close at hand by novelists. Has made it difficult to tell in the end whether it was the drug or the author writing; as with racehorses, drug testing of authors is becoming standard.


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