Speak English Salon


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The Floating Bridge of Dreams ★★

The Floating Bridge of Dreams was written by Ota Nampo. Born into a samurai family, he expressed his literary talents in satirical forms, such as kyoka and kibyoshi. The focus of this story is Eitai Bridge. Two hundred meters long and six meters wide, it was the biggest bridge in Edo. In 1807, during the Fukagawa Hachiman festival, the bridge collapsed under the weight of sightseers who had flocked from all over Edo. Over 400 people died. They included a woman who went to the festival to spite her unfaithful husband. In the wake of the accident, painful farewells and chance meetings fill the city with drama. In this level-headed account, Nampo looks at the causes and effects of an unprecedented disaster.

和訳: 1808年頃に書かれた「夢の浮橋」。作者は大田南畝(おおた・なんぽう)。武士の家に生まれ、狂歌や黄表紙といった滑稽のジャンルで文芸の才能を発揮した。舞台となった永代橋(えいたいばし)は、隅田川にかかる全長200メートル、幅6メートルの江戸第一の橋。1807年、深川八幡宮の祭礼で、江戸市中から見物客が詰めかけたことが原因で永代橋が落下。400人以上の犠牲者を出した。夫の浮気の腹いせに、祭りに出かけ亡くなってしまった妻。事故が生んだ別れや出会いのドラマが街にあふれた。この未曾有の大参事を、南畝は冷静にみつめ事故の実態と意味を書きとめた。

From NHK’s J-Bungaku


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World’s Greatest Libraries ★

Moldova National Library – Photograph by Daniel Zollinger

1. University Club Library – New York City, United States

Photograph by Peter Bond

2. Canadian Library of Parliament – Ottawa, Canada


Photograph by James Gillard

3. Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library – New Haven, Connecticut

Photograph by Lauren Manning

Photograph by KAALpurush

4. Iowa State Capital Law Library – United States

Photograph by Tani Livengood

5. Suzzalo Library at the University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Photograph by Sam

6. Admont Abbey Library – Austria

Photograph by Ognipensierovo

7. State Library – Victoria, Australia

Photograph by Waltonics

8. Library at El Real Monasterio de El Escorial – Madrid, Spain

Photograph by Jose Maria Cuellar

9. José Vasconcelos Library – Mexico City, Mexico

Photograph by Pedro Vasquez Colmenares

Photograph by Aurelio Asiain

10. Real Gabinete Português de Leitura – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Photograph by Ruy Barbosa Pinto

11. National Library of Finland – Helsinki, Finland

Photograph by Marj-Liisa

12. Mitchell Library – Sydney, Australia

Photograph by Christopher Chan

13. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at University of Toronto – Toronto, Canada

Photograph by Fadi J

14. George Peabody Library – Baltimore, Maryland

Photograph by Danielle King

15. Strahov Theological Hall – Prague, Czech Republic

Photograph by Rafael Ferreira


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Der Struwwelpeter ★★★

Translation:

Just look at him! there he stands,
With his nasty hair and hands.
See! his nails are never cut;
They are grimed as black as soot;
And the sloven, I declare,
Never once has combed his hair;
Anything to me is sweeter
Than to see Shock-headed Peter.

Der Struwwelpeter (1845) is a popular German children’s book by Heinrich Hoffmann. It comprises ten illustrated and rhymed stories, mostly about children. Each has a clear moral that demonstrates the disastrous consequences of misbehavior in an exaggerated way. The title of the first story provides the title of the whole book. Literally translated, Struwwel-Peter means Shaggy-Peter

Hoffmann, a German psychiatrist, wanted to buy a picture book for his son for Christmas in 1844. Not impressed by what the stores had to offer, he instead bought a notebook and wrote his own stories and pictures.[2] Hoffmann was persuaded by friends to publish the book anonymously as Lustige Geschichten und drollige Bilder mit 15 schön kolorierten Tafeln für Kinder von 3-6 Jahren (Funny Stories and Whimsical Pictures with 15 Beautifully Coloured Panels for Children Aged 3 to 6) in 1845. It was not until the third edition in 1858 that the book was published under the title Struwwelpeter. The book became very popular among children throughout Europe, and, writes author and researcher Penni Cotton, the pictures and characters showed a great deal of originality and directness.[2]

Struwwelpeter has been translated into several languages. The first English translation appeared in 1848. Mark Twain‘s English translation of the book is called “Slovenly Peter.” A link to an English translation of the entire book ishere.