Thursday 29 August 2002


Horace Bristol: mature silkworms being placed on trays
Horace Bristol, Japan, 1949: Mature silkworms being placed on trays

I collected Horace Bristol’s Japan (recommended by Jeff Ward) from the Post Office this morning. Just as Jeff suggested, it’s a real find: beautifully constructed photographs of everyday life in postwar Japan in fourteen individual portfolios.

I picked a photograph from the Silk porfolio, to honor Burningbird’s insightful review of W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn:

Once I had the first key I could then see the second key, the second thread that binds the stories — a thread of silk. Sebald liberally sprinkles references to silk throughout the book, as an adult would sprinkle clues for a child at an Easter Egg hunt.

References to Thomas Browne’s father being a silk merchant; the purple piece of silk in the urn of Patroculus; the silken ropes given to Hsien-feng’s viceroys so that they may hang themselves, an act of benevolence as their sentence decreed that they …be dismembered and sliced into slices.



Thanks, Jonathon. That's a lovely photo. If the others are like the two you've displayed so far, this must be a nice collection.

Posted by: Burningbird on 29 August 2002 at 11:15 AM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour