Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
I love reading about everyday things.
Allan talks about a new Sushi restaurant opening in town that uses trolleys to deliver the food. I’m still trying to figure out how this system of food delivery is going to work. I’m visualizing this little trolley racing by, and having to grab food out of it, quickly, before it goes out of reach. However, we’re talking about food — sushi — that doesn’t necessarily grab that easily. In my mind I see nori and rice as well as bits of fish flying hither and yon.
Justin takes a sentimental journey through town and through memory as he prepares for a move. Speaking as one who has lived all over this country, it’s the small things — our barbers, favorite restaurants, and walks — you miss most when you move.
My interest in reading about everyday things is especially heightened after I read one of Jonathon’s posts about Japanese women’s writing — books by eleventh century women authors. Today he writes about how women’s writing was considered inferior, joryu bungaku:
I would not understand until years later that, consciously or not, Rimer was following a long tradition in Japanese literary criticism which—using terms such as “joryu sakka” (woman writer) and “joryu bungaku” (women’s literature)—places most women writers in a separate (and implicitly inferior) category
A low opinion of women’s writing wasn’t limited to the Japanese; Western civilization also considered women’s writing to be inferior. For instance, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote:
“American is now wholly given over to a d____d mob of scribbling women, and I have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash — and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed.”
Though Western women didn’t write in a separate language, as the Japanese women did long ago, they wrote of subjects considered of “lesser importance” — of life and love and everyday things. An indirect reference to this is made in Jury of her Peers, by Susan Glaspell. She wrote:
Nothing here but kitchen things,” he said, with a little laugh for the insignificance of kitchen things.”
Introducing my new weblog tag line: Nothing here but kitchen things…