Letter from Lafcadio Hearn to Horace Elisha Scudder, Sept. 21, 1895

ReadAboutContentsHelp
This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

Pages That Need Transcription

p.
Complete

p.

Dear Mr. Scudder:-

Yours of the 20th August in re the title of "Kokoro" &c. reached me just after I had posted a letter on the subject.

I think your suggestion of the advisability of a subtitle is much better, after all, than my suggestion for doing away with a subtitle. I made one, indeed, but it was bad - too much like the subtitle of "Out of the East." I like the substitution you propose - all except the the word "believing", because of western ideas attaching to the word, and because of the peculiar sound of the line caused by the nasal imme-diately before the aspirate. I should have proposed "The Soul of Japan" - but for the famous title of Mr. Lowell's

Last edit 5 months ago by Bob Bonn
p.
Complete

p.

2

book. (1)"Kokoro: A Study of Hearts," might be better -- only that several of the essays, (such as that on Tendencies) scarcely come under the title. You see the Japanese word includes more than "heart" or "believing heart" represents in English. (2) "Kokoro: Studies of Japanese Emotional Life" seems rather long. (3) "Kokoro: The Heart of Japan" -- would have a double meaning, which excludes it. Either "Kokoro: the Soul of Japan" or "No. 1, seem possible; but perhaps I had better leave the decision to you. In any case the little preface forwarded last week explains the title so well, that a subtitle might possibly be dispensed with in case I cannot think of a better one soon. -- I liked your change of title to the article

Last edit 5 months ago by Bob Bonn
p.
Complete

p.

3

on the Japanese civilization, -but would suggest dropping the second "the" in the table of contents for sound-sake --"the Genius of Japanese Civilization" would sound better than my new title, and mean more.

-- I am very anxious to have the paper on Preexistence used in this book as No. 12, and hope it will reach you promptly. It may open the way toward the favorable reception of some later [paper(word crossed through)] thoughts on the subject of psychical combinations - I mean the realization of affinities by actual suppositions union[?] of ultimates. Of course all such ideas are speculative, - involve a certain amount of "unthinkable" proposals; or

Last edit 5 months ago by Bob Bonn
p.
Complete

p.

4

pass the cool limits of agnosticism; but all religions idealism and all the higher emotionalism must necessarily do the same thing. Fixed limits imply stagnation, and stagnation retrogression; and I cannot help believing the thoughts of the era is sure to seek the opposite path of expansion. I am troubled, though, by my comparative ignorance of what has been attempted in this line, and do not wish to figure as a mere recitator[?] of thoughts already familiar -- especially when able to give credit. It was expressively for this reason that I was anxious to obtain some books on the subject. "Mind" I have never seen: ondeed I must ask you to imagine

Last edit 5 months ago by Bob Bonn
p.
Complete

p.

5

me as one without books, - except those obtained from H. M. & Co., and a few works of reference - Spencer, Lewis, Clifford, Huxley, &c. "Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious" (Eng. & Foreign Philos! Library) I should like to have if it represents any real advance upon Schopenhauer's by recognition of existing scientific facts. (you remember Schopenhauer's criticism on Lamarck, and how the prototypical idea has been utterly annihilated in our own time). And I am horribly ashamed to say that I never had a chance to read Gallon's all-important works on heredity, - depending almost entirely upon Spencer's psychology. - There are no libraries in Kobe; and no serious books, - unless one imports

Last edit 5 months ago by Bob Bonn
Displaying Page 1 - 5 of 8 in total