Letter to the Editor: Chilling Stuff

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Reader C writes:

Dear Robert

Thanks for the recommendation of The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walters, which I got from the library. Chilling stuff, especially this sentence:

We had some normal debt: normal credit cards, normal furniture layaways, normal car payments, some uncovered medical bills, Teddy’s normal braces and Franklin’s normal speech therapy…

Have you seen the new Wim Wenders film Perfect Days? It’s about a solitary, but not lonely, Japanese man who lives a simple life in Tokyo. It’s beautifully made and very well acted. It has some pro-work tropes (romanticising repetitive work and the dignity of a job done well) but I think its main message is Escapological.

He works in order to pursue his loves of reading second-hand books, listening to cassettes, and taking photos of trees. He only displays anger when his boss asks him to work a double shift, and he’s clearly inspiring his wealthy niece to escape from the capitalist rat race.

Doing all of this in the shadow of the hyperconsumerism of Tokyo is particularly powerful. He’s certainly a more inspiring hero than Jess Walters’ Matt.

Yours in glorious slowness,


Hello C.

Yes indeed! Perfect Days is a wonderful film and I second your recommendation of it for the benefit of our readers.

In fact, I have reviewed the film along with a similarly-but-differently Escapological new film called The Delinquents in the forthcoming Issue 16.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at wringham.co.uk

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