Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Journey to the West

One of the great classics of Chinese literature is Journey to the West (西游记)nominally based off the tale of a 6th century Buddhist monk named Xuanzang who travelled from China to India in search of original Buddhist texts to bring back. Of course, after a thousand years of oral tradition this morphed into the tale of a shape-shifting Buddhist monkey king made out of stone, but that is how stories work. The point is that it took the historical Xuanzang seventeen years to get down to India, find the texts, and return to the emperor.

I ordered four comic books from Fukuoka, Japan (a bit east of Nagasaki) on May 31. They took three days to arrive, and the reason I only got them today was because the delivery man had wanted my signature to leave the box yesterday. In those three days I travelled probably a total of seven miles in various errands, none of those miles contributing to the acquisition of said comic books.

Maybe if it took me seventeen years to get these, I would devote my life to the rigorous translation and study of the adventures of Kurosaki Ichigo, as Xuanzang did with the holy texts he brought back, but more likely I would simply never hear about them and never get to acquire them at all and my life would be poorer for it.

I am the 1%.

No comments:

Post a Comment