Off Season
Minor Press

Off Season is a newspaper about outdoor life published… every off-season: “after summer/before winter” and “after winter/before spring”. It’s refreshing to see the newspaper format working so well. What perhaps makes this publication so strong is that it gives roughly equal space to text and images. The paper quality, too, is better than average so the striking images of nature and outdoor activities in both color and B&W pop from the pages.

The most recent edition features rock climbing, rugged travel destinations (like Nepal and Alaska), and multiple lifestyle columns with gorgeous photography. The text is almost all in Japanese, but the newspaper is visually stimulating enough to make it worth the mere ¥100 to pick it up even if you don’t read Japanese.

The design work is also exceptional—more of what you might see in an outdoor magazine rather than a newspaper. The art director leaves plenty of white space so that text and image alike can breathe. Each page’s header design is simple but pleasing, and the various fonts well chosen and balanced. At 32 pages, it leaves you craving for more. It’s superior work from a small team.

OFF SEASONはアウトドア・ライフについてのタブロイド誌。オフ・シーズン(つまり、夏の終わり/冬の前/冬の終わり/夏の前)に発行されている。タブロイド形式であることが功を奏しており、目新しく感じる。テキストと写真の配分がほぼ同じくらいの構成で、紙面に力強さを与えている。紙も一般的な新聞紙よりも上質なので、自然やアウトドア・アクティビティの人目を引くカラー/モノクロ写真が、目に飛び込んでくる。



Taylor Mignon
Borderless Reading

“Bearded Cones & Pleasure Blades: the collected poems of Torii Shôzô” is one of the more ambitious translations of Japanese poetry to have come out in recents years. While not on the scale of something like a new translation of Tale of Genji, the project did take editor-translator Taylor Mignon a decade to complete. The volume features English translations of Torii’s several books (including some uncollected poems). At nearly 200 pages in length, it’s not a slim collection.

Torii Shôzô’s poems are perhaps best described as contemporary surrealist (the book’s title hints as much). People are commonly the subject of his poems, and he describes them or the scene they are in through the juxtaposition of unusual, disconnected images. His language often eschews grammar and logic. Some poems may seem simply absurd, the stuff of pure Dadaism.

There are many highlights to the volume, but the collection Alphabet Trap (1984) is particularly strong. Each of the 26 poems features characters named after each letter of the English alphabet (Mr. & Mr.s A, etc) whose actions Torii describes. It’s all surrealist imagery and yet somehow familiar. Somehow, a reflection.

「Bearded Cones & Pleasure Blades」は、鳥居昌三の詩集を英訳したもの。ここ数年間に出版された中でも、とりわけ大掛かりに翻訳された詩集の一つだ。源氏物語の新訳ほどの規模とは言えないまでも、翻訳者であり編集者でもあるテイラー・ミニョンは、完成に10年の月日を費やした。鳥居の詩集(一部、詩集に載っていないものも含む)数冊分が収められている。ページ数は200に及び、厚みがある。



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