Things That Are Near Though Distant
-The course of a sail boat.
-Relations between a man and a woman.
Sei Shōnagon “THE PILLOW BOOK”
This beautiful poem, written nearly thousand years ago by a Lady of the Imperial court of Japan, in just three short sentences describes with unimaginable precision something so complex that will reach thousand of volumes of studies, analyses, articles and essays to illuminate even few of the edges of its subject matter. Paradise, a concept associated with the supernatural and immortality and something so ephemeral (and poetic rather than just an image), the passage of a ship on the horizon, deliberately in succession, invoke the senses and the imagination. Just what one needs to understand little of the relationship Man-Woman.
Lafcadio Hearn, Irish and Greek from ancestry and Japanese from choice, in his short story “The Fountain of Youth” tries also, like Sei Shōnagon many centuries before, in the same subject matter: Relations between a man and a woman.
This also is the intention of the short film based on the exact short story: to approach in a different way “Things that are near though distant” and unbelievably “Strange” some times. Αs a tribute to a writer who left behind a very large in volume and very high in quality work and succeeded to introduce the western readers in the wonders of Japanese literature, art and culture.
29 September 2011