|Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book
lists the numerous fancies, irritations, desires of a courtesan
of the highly aesthetic Heijan period. It is impressive to read
of such a finely-sensed world, where hardly a detail of dress,
correspondence or gesture escapes notice.
How might it be possible to re-create something of that sense in
our own time?
The principle obstacle appears to be lifestyle: we do not have
hours free to compose ourselves for the drama of an elite court.
Perhaps there is a different route. The court of our time might
be seen as the Internet, where the collective mind converses with
itself and tests our different ideas and personalities. As an integral
part of this collective, we invite you to contribute to one of the
lists that make our own equivalent of the Pillow Bookthe
are distant though near.
Festivals celebrated near the Palace.
Relations between brothers, sisters and other members of a family
who do not love each other.
The zigzag path leading up to the temple at Kurama.
The last day of the Twelfth Month and the first of the First.
Things that are near though distant
The course of a boat.
Relations between a man and a woman.
Sei Shonagon (965 - ?) The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
Harmondsworth: Penguin (trans. Ivan Morris), 1971 (orig. 997), p.