sábado, 2 de septiembre de 2017


"It is small wonder that Chinese and Japanese literature are so dissimilar, for the two languages are entirely different. Chinese is a monosyllabic language with musical tones to distinguish the many identical syllables. In its classical form at least, Chinese is a language of great compactness. Japanese, on the other hand, is polysyllabic, has no tones like the Chinese, and sounds rather like Italian, at least to those who do not know Italian. In contrast with the brevity of classical Chinese, Japanese is a language of interminable sentences, sometimes literally interminable, in which case they are left incomplete, at the end of twentieth or fortieth subtle turn of phrase, as if their authors despaired of ever coming to the end of their task. Again, Chinese poetry is usually rhymed and is based on a complicated pattern of musical tones. In Japanese, on the other hand, rhyme is generally avoided, and the formal rules of prosody reduce themselves to a matter of counting syllables. Although the earliest Japanese poems we know, those preserved in a work of the early eighth century A.D., have lines of irregular length, the preference for alternating lines of five and seven syllables soon crystallized among Japanese poets, and this eventually became the basic rhythm of the language, found not only in poetry but in almost any type of literary composition."

Fragmento extraído de Japanese Literature, an introduction for Western Readers, de Donald Keene
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Maira Gall