Paul Griffiths’s The Tilted Cup effects a multilayered translation, taking a series of eleven Japanese Noh plays and turning them into stories in English. The reader will encounter spirit-beings set free, lovers lost and found, dreams and desires fulfilled, lessons learned from nature, and always a longing for the infinite, as the long, slow drama of each Noh play is transformed into a short and moving tale. Interspersed and contrasting with the stories are ten photographs of contemporary Japan by John L. Tran that further explore the relation between theatricality and narrative, while offering hints of a very different vision of infinitude.
About the Author
Paul Griffiths worked for thirty years as a music critic in London and New York. His Modern Music and After, now in its third edition, is the standard work on music since 1945. His fictional works include Let Me Tell You and the libretto of Elliott Carter’s only opera, What Next?
John L. Tran is a British artist of Vietnamese descent, currently based in Tsukuba, Japan.
“[A] handsome addition to the Cahier series. . . . The stories are presented with a restraint well suited to the dignified aesthetic of Noh theatre, but they can be daring in their inclusion of details and turns of phrase that come not from the original text so much as from images that the texts have suggested to Griffiths.” — Jay Rubin