Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I stole the title of this blog from a passage in a favorite novel: Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain. At least I think I stole it. After a few initial readings, I began to cherish this line: “Fishing paralyzes the mind so the soul can rest.”

How profound, I thought. What genius! I even quoted these words in a work of my own, a story that won second prize in the 2005 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.

But when I went back to the book last month, I could not find that sentence.

In John Bester’s translation, Ibuse writes, “While one was fishing, one’s powers of thought were temporarily paralyzed, so that it had the same effect in resting the cells of the brain as a deep sleep.”

The right idea, but not nearly as elegant as I remembered.

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