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Fun / foon Tokyo
Monday, September 27, 2004
The Original Fruitcake Gajin: Lafcadio Hearn
Lafcadio Hearn was the original fruitcake gaijin... Here's Lafcadio Hearn: the Good, the Bad, the Butt Ugly...
the Good:
Hearne made the HUGE intellectual jump that Japanese esthetics had value. In his day, everyone "knew" that Japanese music was cat screeching, Japanese gardens were barren dumps, and Japanese houses primative. Hearne set architectural greats like Frank Lloyd Wright, L. Sullivan, Frederick L. Olmsted, et al on the Path.
the Bad:
Most of the FGs here on the f* speak better Japanese than Hearn. He couldn't read or write Japanese and depended on his wife for everything to understand the J-world.
the butt-ugly:
Lafcadio Hearn was a wacked fruitcake: Just read his work for free on Project Gutenburg.
Hearn wrote:
"I only wish I could be reincarnated in some little Japanese baby, so that I could see and feel the world as beautifully as a Japanese brain does."

Also see
Virtual Hearn dairy

Map of Hearn's Japan

Abandoned misfit who found peace in prose and his new land


Special to The Japan Times / Sunday, September 26, 2004

..."The beautiful illusion of Japan, the almost weird charm that comes with one's first entrance into her magical atmosphere, had, indeed stayed with me very long but had totally faded out at last" ("Out of the East," 1895).

....For other stories in our package on Lafcadio Hearn, please click the following links:

Disillusioned bard of a bygone Japan

By Roger Pulvers

Glimpsing the essence of Hearn's Kamakura

By Burritt Sabin
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Hearn's estrangement with Japan in his last year of life, " "I have long been a subject of persecution in Japan. For many years, I have been isolated -- unable to meet or to have other friends, other than Japanese."

Posted by trek/taro at 11:49 AM KDT
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