BJ. William Plomer

11. New introduction to Paper Houses (3), 1943.


Wilson and Allen (A64) note rightly that the 1943 reprinting of Plomer’s stories of Japan, at a time the country had ‘become a hated enemy’ of Britain, is in itself remarkable, and Allen adds in a later essay (41) that Plomer’s new introduction is ‘singularly at variance with [the] anti-Japanese feelings of the time’. Plomer recalls his years in the country fondly, the ‘towns’ with their ‘wonderful theatres’ and ‘interesting shops’, the ‘easy, unrestricted, and comfortable’ travel, the ‘accumulations of a long civilisation to study and enjoy’, but ‘above all’ the ‘lively and companionable’ people, ‘often good to look at, clean and polite, generous if they liked you, faithful as friends, and capable of deep and violent emotion’.






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