"Homer, you spoke about a one-substance world, a world in which mortals and deathless gods coexist, a rich Hellenic past, font of Western rationality. However, you argue, it is when that one-substance world is abolished, when the panoply of gods are sent packing for a one-god/two-substance split between the secular and spiritual, that a truly rational world is set in place." (Karen Yamashita)
"One question can occupy a lifetime. What is poverty, Homer? However defined, you point out, it depends on notions of the social, moral judgment, and responsibility. What rights do people have to labor and to the fruits of the earth? If poverty is undesirable, what is our duty?" (Karen Yamashita)
"History, gently you remind me and urge me back. I have told myself, since I am prone to write fiction, that history and knowledge what really happened is necessary because someone has to be accountable. Yet how close can anyone get to history even if you live it?" (Karen Yamashita)
"In an interview with Dosse, Fromanger recalls how Deleuze asked him how he managed to paint on a blank canvas. Fromager's response, that the canvas was not actually black but black 'with everything every painter has painted before me,' clearly excited Deleuze, who is said to have exclaimed: 'So it's not about blackening the canvas but about whitening it.'" (Frida Beckman)
"Avant Nietzsche, il dénonce toutes les falsifications de la vie, toutes les valeurs au nom desquelles nous déprécions la vie : nous ne vivons pas, nous ne menons qu'un semblant de vie, nous ne songeons qu'à éviter de mourir, et toute notre vie est un culte de la mort." (Deleuze)
"La rencontre avec le philosophe, dans VIVRE SA VIE, est particulièrement représentative de ce que le lieu qu'est le café permet au cinéma : une conversation, du 'texte', mais également de l'expérience pariticipative, de la distance tendre." (Clélia Zernik, L'attrait des cafés)
"Look at the parallels, Born said, and it's not as far-fetched as you'd think: extermination of the Indians is turned into the extermination of the Jews; westward expansion to exploit natural resources is turned into eastward expansion for the same purpose; enslavement of the blacks for low-cost labor is turned into subjugation of the Slavs to produce a similar result. Long live America, Adam, he said, pouring another shot of cognac into both our glasses." (Paul Auster, Invisible)
"The escalators in the Tottenham Court Road tube station are long ones; and civilized etiquette in England is that people stand on one side only, leaving a clear passage for those in a hurry (unlike the U.S., where people clog the entire width of the steps)." (Denise Levertov)
"It would be wrong to seek a direct transposition of musical chords in the way they are developed in the Baroque; and yet it would also be erroneous to conclude with Leibniz's indifference in respect to the musical model: the question, rather involves analogy. And we know that Leibniz was always trying to bring it to a new rigor." (Deleuze)
"The Baroque refers not to an essence but rather to an operative function, to a trait. It endlessly produces folds. It does not invent things: there are all kinds of folds coming from the East, Greek, Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Classical folds... Yet the Baroque trait twists and turns its folds, pushing them to infinity, fold over fold, one upon the other." (Deleuze)
Our international workshop ImaginAsia 2017, hosted by us at Meiji, started yesterday. Students from Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, UK, and Japan work in small groups to look into the local histories of Asian immigrants in Japan. This is the statement I wrote as an introduction.
How many Asias are there in this world? How many do we know and how many do we live? Beyond any narrow-minded ethnocentrism and baseless identification with the Western gaze, we are now embarking, once again, on our collective journey of self-knowledge. There may be a thousand Asias that run through us, here and now, releasing and recapturing us at each moment, making us a collective flux of diversity, differentiation, and constant discovery. Imagination is the only nation we share and across cultural and linguistic borders we keep encountering our new selves, thanks to your new friends walking side-by-side with you in this unknown territory. That is the spirit of ImaginAsia.
This year’s edition of ImaginAsia will explore the rich presence of various Asian traditions in Tokyo. How can we see through the surface and speak to this vibrant inter-Asian mega-city with a necessary socio-historical and critical consciousness? This is a truly unique educational and research opportunity for all participants. Let’s see what comes out of it.
Keijiro SUGA, Meiji University
"Why can't we get along without bodies? What leads us to go beyond the phenomenon or the perceived? Leibniz often says that if bodies did not exist outside of perception, the only perceiving substances would be either human or angelic, to the detriment of the variety and of the animality of the universe." (Deleuze)
"A bifurcation, like the exit from the temple, is called a point in the neighborhood of series' divergence. Borges, one of Leibniz's disciples, invoked the Chinese philosopher-architect Ts'ui Pên, the inventor of the 'garden with bifurcating paths,' a baroque labyrinth whose infinite series converge or diverge, forming a webbing of time embracing all possibilities." (Deleuze)
"A complaining guitar sound---one high, stretched, strident note that gave off the feel of someone trying to scrape dirt off his hand with a knife---rang through "30 Seconds Over Tokyo," growing more and less and more and less accepting as the drama took shape, nothing-you-can-do-about-it turning into I-can't-take-it-anymore and turning back." (Greil Marcus, The Shape of Things to Come)
"I am the prior of Clusa, and I know well how to make discourse, and how to write. In Aquitaine there is no learning, they are rustics all: and if any one in Aquitaine has learnt any grammar, he straightway thinks himself Virgil. In France is learning, but not much. But in Lombardy, where I mostly studied, is the fountain of learning." (Benedict of Clusa, quoted by Helen Waddell in her The Wandering Scholars)