BJ. William Plomer

36. [Thoughts of Plomer]. Eigo seinen 120 (1974): 820-21.

Responses to Plomer’s sudden death on 21 September 1973, each of which looks back at his life from the standpoint of his relation with Japan.

a. Morris, John. ‘William Plomer 1903-1973’. Morris, Plomer’s friend of three decades, spent many years in Japan, and upon return to England was the first Japanese Programme Organiser at the BBC. His thoughts here focus on the importance of Japan in shaping Plomer’s life and work. Plomer came to the country ‘in a spirit of youthful adventure’, not intending to remain, but ‘like so many Englishmen in those days, having arrived . . . found it impossible to tear himself away’. His works written in Japan (2-5) make use of ‘Japanese themes’, but ‘in everything he subsequently wrote’, as well, ‘a strong and lasting Japanese influence’ remains. Morris particularly notes in this regard Plomer’s love of ‘the extreme repose of the classical Noh’, and its manifestation in Curlew River (18), which he finds ‘an outstanding example of real cultural contact’ and ‘a highly original re-thinking in English terms of an extremely stylised and difficult art form’.

b. Sano, Eiichi. ‘Plomer to Mori senchô’ (Plomer and Captain Mori). Sano, Plomer’s student during the twenties, went on to become a respected scholar of English literature and editor of a Japanese edition of Plomer’s work. Here he traces briefly Plomer’s years in Japan and in general terms his fifty year relation with Mori Katsue (see 7 and 10a).

c. Kajiki, Ryûichi. ‘Plomer sensei no omoide’ (A remembrance of Plomer). Like Sano, Kajiki had been Plomer’s student in the twenties and went on to become a respected scholar of English literature, eventually holding the chair in English at Meisei University in Tokyo. His brief remembrance here focuses on Plomer’s sympathy for his students, and on a reunion between Kajiki and Plomer in London in 1964.





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