Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Perfect writing & perfect despair

I've had two unique book reading experiences in the last week or so. Firstly, I've always heard or read about people's experience of reading a book that felt like it was 'written about them' or 'just for them' or whatever, and I've always thought: wow, that sounds cool. I've never had the experience myself until I read Haruki Murakami's first novel, Hear the Wind Sing. Actually, it's more along the lines of a novella, but I did. I felt like it was written just for me, as if he had me in his head when he wrote it. Obviously, I know that isn't the case, but still, it just gives you this mild electric shiver the whole time yr reading. It was a marvelously eerie feeling all in all, which has been a continuing theme of 'The summer of Murakami'.
Concurrently, I was reading his most recent novel, After Dark, and I was thinking the whole time, hey, it only seems mediocre in comparison to his other novels. It still had trademark Murakami wierdness, insight, and when the characters get to talking its way offkey and interesting, but it just wasn't all the way there. Like he was coasting through this one. This was how I felt right up until the 2nd to last paragragh in the book, when the themes from all of his books suddenly clicked in my head, and the book transformed into this exciting distillation of wierdness into a coherent metaphysics of the odd. If I hadn't've read so many of his other novels I don't think it would have happened like that, but I have, so it did. I've never had a book completely transform itself in the waning moments like that. It was highly awesome.
I also finished Norwegian Wood just two days ago, and it hit me hard. Suddenly I felt like I had been disattached from the universe and was just floating in some interliminal state whereby I couldn't actually interact or engage with the world around me for the entire day. I was just watching without being a part of anything. It was not the response I would've expected. It's a sad story for sure, but this was something different. I just felt like I was no longer in the game or even a part of the game. I'm failing miserably in my attempt to explain this feeling because it was a strange one, undoubtedly, but oh, well. I'm now into Kafka on the Shore and Pinball, 1973. Absolutely, utterly obsessed with Marukami.


Cheney said...

Hi bro,
this is your sis
i set up a google account so i can comment on your blog, we'll see if it works. Also i may be starting my own blog soon, i'll let you know!

Cheney said...

Now you need to post some more crap so i can post some more comments. Let's get with the program here! I don't think your writing is crap that's just a figure of speech. I will look forward to reading the Wind Up Bird Chronicles as soon as you give it back to me. This is fun, i'll start my blog soon so you can leave me some comments. I will also comment on your writing i just wanted to get the details organized first.

Sparkle Mommy said...

Hey, I started a blog and added you to my blogroll. Check it out and leave me a comment. Then we can have a conversation, like what's up with Manny lately? I'm now sparklemommy, but still your sis.