I had done 'Shallow Grave' and 'The Pillow Book
.' I did a dreadful film called 'Blue Juice,' then 'Trainspotting,' then I did 'Emma.
The two author-protagonists, the narrator, Jane Takagi-Little, and her Japanese counterpart, Akiko Ueno, define themselves in relation to a third author, Sei Shonagon, and her tenth-century miscellany text known as The Pillow Book
. In response to Roland Barthes's arguments about the "modern scriptor," I argue that Jane's understanding of authorship shifts in relation to her increasingly intricate interactions with Ueno and Shonagon, eventually leading to the realization that authorial power can manifest itself in positive and productive ways.
These characters are particularly fascinated by a newly discovered Japanese pillow book
that appears to be from the Heian period but turns out to be a modern forgery.
I learned about lists from Ivan Morris's translation of The Pillow Book
of Sei Shonagon where readers see how a mere list can be elegant writing.
Ivan Morris, in his introduction to The Pillow Book
of Sei Shonagon: "I have however, preferred to retain the confused timesequence of the traditional texts"
The title originates with Nathaniel Hawthorne who griped to his publisher in 1855 about the irritating fad of "scribbling women." Jocelyn brilliantly refutes this opinion with fascinating tales of women writers beginning with Sei Shonagon's penning of The Pillow Book
in ancient Japan.
So far, his roles have steered clear of McGregor's edgy turns in Trainspotting and The Pillow Book
. But James has something surprising on the boil.
A born gossip who loved life at court, Sei's observations--in the form of lists, poems and anecdotes that give us much insight into her world--were collected and published in English as The Pillow Book
, a book still in print.
A pillow book
this work is not, nor a pillow, but, read carefully, it pays back royally.
McGregor, 37, starred as a bisexual in 1996 movie The Pillow Book
and filmed a gay sex scene with Batman star Christian Bale for Velvet Goldmine.
Sei Shonagon, a servant to the Japanese Empress Sadako 1,000 years ago, wrote a single volume, The Pillow Book
, that is difficult to classify.
He said: "In The Pillow Book
I was covered head to toe in Chinese-Japanese calligraphy.