I’ve been 123 memed by Dave at Tenement Palm, as per:
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
To hand: Kappa, by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. And turning to the appointed place:
I had been saddened by Tok’s end – Tok who had not accepted the teachings of this sect – and, by way of interrupting the Elder’s flow of words, mentioned the Tok affair.
‘Ah, that wretched poet, you mean, do you?’
As he listened to my account, the Elder heaved a deep sigh.
Kappa was written in the months leading up to Akutagawa’s suicide, and it reads very much like someone trying to make sense of encroaching schizophrenia, in this case by telling the story of a man who falls into an imaginary world peopled by giant owls with tiger’s heads and giving an account of their laws, customs, economic theories (involving cannibalism) and sexual practices. The writer’s evident state of extreme unhappiness makes the scenario a lot less fun than it sounds.
Another five? Help yourselves, if you fancy it.