This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Hello readers! My name is Jeff and I’m an aspiring writer. A lot of my influences come from Japanese literature and writers such as Osamu Dazai, Junichiro Tanizaki, and Shusaku Endo. A particular branch or genre of J-LIT that interests me is the ‘I-novel’, a confessional form of story in which the writer in question must abide by a series of rules, such as writing in the first person, hence ‘I-novel’. These stories also tend to be more naturalistic in tone, rather than the formal styles of writing that can be found in other Japanese texts. Some examples of the I-novel include Dazai’s ‘No Longer Human’ and Endo’s ‘Scandal’, both of which are amongst my favorite books. Some day I’d love to write a book in the veign of an I-novel…


Highly recommend Dazai’s novel ‘No Longer Human’, has quite a few other work available in English, too. Ordered The Setting Sun last week, can’t wait to read that.

Going back somewhat, approaching nine years now I had a lung transplant. This really changed my outlook on life, and it’s something that’s reflected in my short stories in terms of the experiences I’ve went through, and how I now perceive life and death. Once I even exchanged a series of letters with a death row inmate to talk about the subject of death, he came across as a really lovely guy actually, a poet, hard to believe he was responsible for a double homicide. But his childhood was very rough, he grew up on the streets, in gangs, and that seemed a common thread with all the inmates I spoke with.


Why am I writing letters to prisoners? Well for a number of years I struggled with social anxiety, and for large spells would fail to even leave the house. That’s part of what draws me to Japanese literature, as their writers seem quite interested in the ‘outsider’, whoever doesn’t fit into society… and I sure can relate with that! Actually I remember talking to a friend online and he speculated I exchanged those letters because it comforts me to know these people are in a more unfortunate position than myself…

At the start of this year my family moved to Bendigo, a city in central Victoria and a place I’m very fond of; since I was a kid, I’ve come up here regularly during Easter and Christmas Holidays. My mother was born here, and I had a great grandfather who was once Mayor of Bendigo.

Anyhow, since the move, in February, I feel rejuvenated and keen to try different things. I’ve enrolled in a professional writing course at the Bendigo TAFE and since studying there, I’ve begun a couple new short story projects, of which I’m very thankful for; prior to moving, the creative well had well and truly run dry. I guess I was struggling with motivation as well.

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