Breath holds time.

In a short set of passages on spring from 1934, the Japanese novelist and film critic Osaki Midori (1896–1971), who had suffered a breakdown and left Tokyo for her native Tottori Prefecture two years before, includes the following telegram. It is characteristic of the modernist style for which her work is known:

monsieur hamada congratulations on winning prize stop open tired old second floor window and breathe in lungfuls grass colored air stop propose toast in my heart to spring stop overworked stove in your workshop can relax stop my spring is three thirteen carried over from autumn stop1

Reading this sealed in my room in October, with my overworked air purifier on full blast as the smoke swirled outside, I longed to be able to open up my tired old second-floor window and to breathe in the grass-colored air rather than the orange haze. To...

You do not currently have access to this content.