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Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams: A Literary and Art Collection

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From the author of Espresso Love and Secondhand Memories, the award-winning trailblazer of online literature and transmedia storytelling, comes an unconventional postmodern collection of fragments, moments, imaginings containing thought-provoking and enigmatic short stories, poetry, essay, excerpts, aphorisms, photography, typography, design and artwork.

His work paints surreal visions and explores philosophical themes of the human condition and spirituality, subjective perception and the nature of reality, the system and the cosmos through strange conversations, umbrellas, a talking bird, a girl with a top hat, grandfather clocks, transfigured stones, a missing archaeologist, bowls of rice, a man with twelve toes, and more.

The book features the award-winning transcendental "The Elephant Girl", a heartbreaking "Sometimes I Think You Can't Hear Me", the magical fable "By The River" and political essay "It's Pouring, Bring Two Umbrellas".

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"[His stories] have a timeless quality, little legends or fables that enlighten or explain a philosophy of life, a zen moment... [they] touch on an innate mystery of things that allow one to see." - Patricia Keeney, York University Creative Writing Professor, Award-winning Poet, Critic and Author of One Man Dancing

"A thought provoking work that will leave the reader questioning the very existence around them... [Takatsu] always seems to be breaking the rules and combining various mediums of art... The pioneer of English Cell Phone Novels has continued to approach writing-and art as a whole-in different ways, breaking and manipulating constructs to produce work that, while still holding ties to the written word, manifests into something that defies its very foundation... A great glimpse into what the future of the written word-and art as a whole-can be." - C.J. Garrett, Author of Memoirs of a Zygote (Trapped in a Human's Body)

"Takatsu is a fascinating writer, musician and illustrator and is at the forefront of transmedia storytelling." - Rowena Wiseman, Author of Searching for Von Honningsbergs, The Replacement Wife, Bequest, Silver

"I am awestruck at the philosophical stance of your writing. Your writing is akin to that of Murakami in its surrealist execution." - Shane Oltingir, Wattpad Reader


Takatsu, known as a passionate trailblazer of online literature and transmedia storytelling, is an award-winning writer of literary fiction, featured Wattpad author of 20,000 followers, poet, philosopher, musician, designer, guest speaker and Literature student from Toronto. In 2008, through coming-of-age story, 2009 Textnovel Reader's Choice and Editor's Choice Award winning "Secondhand Memories" (Sakura Publishing 2015), he pioneered the Japanese "cell phone novel" phenomenon in the English-speaking world. In 2014, his critically acclaimed dystopian magical realism philosophical literary novel, "Espresso Love" ranked #1 for Sci-Fi, won the Watty's Award and reached 900,000 reads online. He won York University's Stanley Fefferman Award in 2014 and the Babs Burggraf Award of $2500 for his short story "Elephant Girl" in 2016. He is influenced by writers such as Murakami, Borges, Orwell, DeLillo, Kafka, Carver and the ideas of Mumford, Baudrillard, Jung, Wyndham Lewis, McLuhan, Hegel, and Marx.

240 pages, Paperback

First published May 28, 2016

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About the author


16 books107 followers
Takatsu is a poet, novelist, publisher, designer, event and community coordinator and featured Wattpad Star of 20,000 followers from Toronto. In 2008, through Secondhand Memories , he pioneered English “cell phone novels”. In 2014, his acclaimed literary novel, Espresso Love won a Watty’s Award and reached 1 million reads. Inspiritus Press released his literary and art collection, Of Forests & Clocks & Dreams , in 2016, and he received the Babs Burggraf Award for short story "The Elephant Girl". In 2017, he edited Apparatus, a poetry and prose anthology by 15 contributors. His debut poetry chapbook Kawatare was published by Anstruther Press in August 2017. Forthcoming is a poem in PRISM International. He continues to coordinate community and innovation through Inspiritus Press, Crossroads Literary Festival, Bring the Noise Street Poetry Tour, the Wattpad Literary Fiction Network, the Cell Phone Novel movement and social marketing initiatives.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Cody Garrett.
2 reviews2 followers
June 2, 2016
I have been intrigued by S. Takatsu's work for a few years now, having followed his career ever since Secondhand Memories and through to Espresso Love. Perhaps what I found most intriguing about "Of Forests And Clocks And Dreams" besides the unorthodox style of blending artwork and photography with writing, is the way in which it flows. While the rhythm of the book is very dreamy and surreal--containing stories such as "The Boy And The Bird" which involves a parakeet speaking to its owner about philosophy--there's also an uncontrolled factor of chaos to it. Right from the beginning, you are swept into the author's inner world where you experience all the twists and turns his mind contains. You realize very quickly on that this isn't just your typical collection of short stories and poetry. Of course, the experimental formatting, artwork and photography easily gives away this impression from first leafing through the pages of the book, but when you actually sit down and begin to read the contents, you realize very quickly that what you are reading is more so the unconscious thoughts of the author as personified through his writing. Dealing with philosophy, metaphysics, spirituality, and the criticism of our capitalist system, the author manages to create the perfect blend of dealing with ideas such as: what is reality, what is the meaning of life, what is the soul, etc. without it coming off as being pretentious or too inaccessible. And while some readers may be turned off by some of the metaphysical ideas presented in this book, the author is able to reel in the reader into his visionary landscape without it being too overwhelming. The reader who may not agree with all of his thoughts, will at least find it interesting and will be entertained by the different ways in which the author goes about presenting his thoughts, rather that be through surreal short story, personal narrative, minimalistic poetry or short, yet powerful aphorism. The reader that finds themselves nodding their head in agreement, will definitely return time and time again to reread their favorite passages--either to interpret and gain more insight or to insure themselves that there is another that thinks as they do
1 review
June 2, 2016
Takatsu's work always impresses. Unlike his full novels, Espresso Love and Secondhand Memories, Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams experiments with form, compiling a mind-boggling series of artwork and written word. Though his form ranges widely, there seems to be an emerging theme of a mind struggling to understand itself and the entire universe - but fails at expressing it. Throughout the book, there is a deep sense of melancholy, sadness and a frustration that there should be something more.

There are also bursts of inspiration and powerful criticisms of social norms or established systems, but they are self-aware, performative attempts at sending out a desperate message to the reader - or just anyone.

Reading through the book, you are brought deeper into the author's and your own mind. Here and there, you catch a glimpse of the universe and something spiritual. The rhythm comes and goes; it will take some work to get through the collection and come to your own understanding. But when you try to do so, like Espresso Love, the book provides much wisdom and I believe on further readings, it will reveal infinitely more about each of us. It was a great read and I'm looking forward to more.
June 1, 2016
This collection of various pieces shows only a facet of the author, but every time I read a piece, I see something new. Some are easy reads, and others are more thoughtful. I would highly suggest reading different selections at different times of the day and not all of the pieces at the same time if you are not used to reading critically. This book must be read with thought and an open mind. My favorite selections included "I Walk Along A Shore" and "Consider the Stars."
Profile Image for Giuseppe.
101 reviews
August 3, 2019
Short stories, full of symbolism. Pleasant, well written but I miss something. It was interesting to look at Wattpad, the chosen medium for this collection.
Profile Image for Vanessa Glau.
Author 1 book1 follower
June 29, 2016
It’s already been one and a half years since I discovered Takatsu and his writing. Not only do his visions and ideas provide food for thought, they almost force the reader to think outside the box and open their mind. Therefore, I absolutely had to get his latest work, a collection of short stories and essays, for my library.

The concept in itself is unusual: Small stories, scenes from his lengthy project Espresso Love, essays and poems mix with photos and paintings from different artists. Words are even arranged and stylized to create art. That format is surprisingly dynamic and helped the flow of words greatly.

Although I’d read most of the stories and essays before, I didn’t mind reading them again, all in one place. Of course, some spoke to me more than others, such as ‘Sometimes I think you can’t hear me’, ‘A Night in Tokyo’ and ‘Clair de Lune’. The manifesto and writing tips are pieces I could reread endlessly, as they reflect my own ideas about writing and art. Most poems sound a little forced, but I don’t know much about poetry, so I’m not a good judge.

Again, I greatly enjoyed the graphic elements and overall design of the book. The quality of the photos seemed a little lacking which might be due to the paper used in print. However, Inspiritus Press appears to be a young, quite experimental publisher, so a weakness in that department is understandable.

Nevertheless, Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams definitely is a work of art, relating important ideas and concepts. It reminds me of the importance of keeping an open mind, staying awake and pursuing one’s own path, especially in a society of mass media and instant gratification. Because of that, it gets a rating of 4/5 magical coffee beans.


Takatsu ist ein Autor, dessen Werke mich seit über einem Jahr begleiten. Seine Visionen und Gedanken regen nicht zum Nachdenken an, sondern zwingen den Leser fast, über den Tellerrand zu blicken und seinen Geist zu öffnen. Daher stand fest, dass ich auch sein neues Buch, eine Sammlung verschiedener Essays und Kurzgeschichten, für meine Bibliothek brauchte.

Bereits das Konzept ist ungewöhnlich: Kurze Geschichten, Fetzen längerer Erzählungen, Essays und Gedichte wechseln sich ab mit Fotos, Bildern verschiedener Künstler und Grafiken, in die Worte oder Phrasen eingearbeitet sind. Ich hatte oft das Gefühl, dass dieses Format mich stimuliert und zum Weiterlesen anregt.

Die meisten Geschichten und Essays kannte ich bereits, trotzdem las ich sie sehr gerne wieder. Natürlich gab es einige, die mich mehr ansprachen als andere, darunter „Sometimes I think you can’t hear me“, „A Night in Tokyo“ und „Clair de Lune“. Das „Manifesto“ und Takatsus Schreibtipps kann ich immer wieder lesen, da sie mich in meinen eigenen Ideen vom Schreiben bestärken. Die Gedichte wirkten etwas gekünstelt, aber ich lese nicht oft genug Lyrik, um sie wirklich bewerten zu können.

Die Bilder und grafische Gestaltung des Buches sind wie gesagt sehr ansprechend. Einzig die Fotos weisen schlechte Druckqualität auf, was vermutlich mit dem Papier zusammenhängt. Da Inspiritus Press noch ein sehr junger, in vielen Dingen experimenteller Verlag ist, kann ich diese Schwäche durchaus verstehen.

Trotzdem ist Of Forests and Clocks and Dreams ist ein Kunstwerk, das wichtige Gedanken und Ideen vermittelt. Es erinnert mich daran, in unserer überladenen Mediengesellschaft nicht abzustumpfen, sondern meinen eigenen Weg zu verfolgen. Dafür vergebe ich 5/5 magische Kaffeebohnen.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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