Kenzaburo Oe has devoted his life to taking certain subjects seriously — victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the struggles of the people of Okinawa, the challenges of the disabled, the discipline of the scholarly life — while not appearing to take himself seriously at all. Although he is known in Japan as much for being a gadfly activist as for being one of the country’s most celebrated writers, in person Oe is more of a delightful wag
We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice peg, We have learned to bottle our parents twain in the yelk of an addled egg. We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart, But the devil whoops, as he whooped of old; It's clever, but is it art?rudyard kipling
When to secure your bald pate from the weather, You lately wore a cap of black neats' leather; He was a very wag, who to you said, "Why do you wear your slippers on your head?"Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XII, Epigram 45. Translation by Hay.
We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart; But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: 'It's clever, but is it Art?'1892 'The Conundrum of the Workshops'.
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