(February 11, actually, but I think if I change the title I may change the link.) We start with Earle Stanley Gardner on writing by the word -- then on to Kawabata and the spookiness of the story.  Then The Merchant of Venice, and the significance of the rings and their value.  The reason Shylock is a stranger, and that all the Jews in Venice are: because Deuteronomy permits lending at interest to a stranger, so the Christians wanted to be strangers to the Jews so made the Jews strangers to them.  The stranger in Simmel mentioned: "The wanderer [the merchant] is he who comes today and goes tomorrow; the stranger is he who comes today and stays tomorrow."  At least I am sure it may be so in Venice.