Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Pillow Book #148

from Sei Shonagon
"#148 - Repulsive things – The back of a piece of sewing. Hairless baby mice tumbled out of their nest. The seams of a leather robe before the lining’s been added. The inside of a cat’s ear. A rather dirty place in darkness.

A very ordinary woman looking after lots of children. The way a man must feel when his wife, who he’s not really very fond of, is ill for a long time."


Sei Shonagon (965 to 1017) had a strong personality - her proclamations, observations and anecdotes in The Pillow Book never cease to delight and puzzle. It's a peep into a world that is about as far removed from today (in the west) as you can get. Liverputty has hijacked her to be our woman from the Heian Court. Translated by Meredith McKinney.

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