Minor Press

Young people don’t read anymore. They just surf the internet or spend their days on social networks with their tablets and mobile phones. They have nothing to say, unless it is about themselves.

Well, students at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto are proving that wrong with their publication of “Check Now”, a free magazine with an eclectic mix of content. Student publications, of course, are nothing new, but obviously this has been an exercise in passing on the torch; it has surprisingly reached volume 31 and has even managed to pull in some advertisements. This youth team is well on its way to being a professional outfit!

The magazine features interviews and quotes, a food column, an English lesson (the magazine is in Japanese), and reviews of books, music and movies. There’s a mix of other fun content, too, and zany photography throughout. The design is flashy and colorful, and fits with the overall spirit of the publication. Student culture really seems to emanate from the pages. Check Now is full color on A5-sized paper, 20 pages. Check it, now! Visit their associated site:


いや、京都の立命館大学の学生たちは様々なコンテンツを掲載しているフリーマガジン「CHECK NOW」を発行することで、そうでないことを示している。学生が出版物を発行すること自体は目新しいことではないが、伝統が受け継がれていることは驚きに値する。雑誌は31号を数え、広告も掲載されている。プロが制作する雑誌の様相を呈しているのだ!


CHECK NOWはA5サイズのフルカラー印刷、20ページ。今すぐチェックしよう!ウェブサイトはこちら。

Jose Saramago
Borderless Reading

Jose Saramago, the Portuguese novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, is perhaps best know for Blindness, which was made into a movie several years ago (to generally poor critical reception). His 1991 novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ is equally well known, though for controversial reasons, and surprisingly hasn’t been translated into Japanese yet. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis is another of his best and perhaps one of his most interesting.

The 1984 novel’s main character is Ricardo Reis, which was also a name used by the famous Portuguese poet-writer Fernando Pessoa—he imagined different personalities and published works under names for those personalities. In Saramago’s novel, Reis hears of Pessoa’s death and travels from Brazil back to Lisbon, where he wanders the streets and reads newspapers, unable to connect with society.

It’s a slow, ponderous read, actually, with little action. But reader interest is piqued when Reis begins having conversations with the spirit of Pessoa. Life and death become blurred. So do fantasy and reality. And everyone thought Murakami Haruki started that!

ジョゼ・サラマーゴは、1998年にノーベル文学賞を受賞したポルトガルの作家。最も知られている作品は映画化もされた「Blindness」(邦題:白の闇)だろう。(映画の評価は芳しくなかったが。)1991年に発表された「The Gospel According to Jesus Christ」も広く知られてはいるものの、賛否両論を呼んだ作品であり、日本語には翻訳されていない。そして、彼の作品で最も面白いものの一つは、「The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis」(邦題:リカルド・レイスの死の年)だろう。


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