You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...

-Walt Whitman


norwegian wood

"Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn't give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. I was at that age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. Scenery was the last thing on my mind."

Norwegian Wood

IT'S BEEN AGES since I last read a book and finished it. I have this bad habit of reading one and then impulsively start another. Needless to say, I have now five novels of different authors (mostly borrowed from Hales); all of them accumulating dust and silently wishing to be passionately read till their last pages. Unfortunately for them, I met Haruki Murakami and got my own laptop.

Two weeks ago, I went to my bestfriend’s place and conducted our usual trade of resources; they usually range from audio files, latest movies we’d seen, and television series we follow. That day she offered me her e-book collection she got from her colleague. The collection included Chuck Palahniuk, JD Salinger, Joseph Heller, Ian McEwan, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, and Haruki Murakami. I accepted of course. I’d take anything from Hales. That’s how much I trust her aesthetic taste in things.

Murakami. This name came out twice or thrice already on my blog-hopping. And so from the seven authors, I chose to read him first to see what the fuzz is all about-- Intellectual curiosity. I decided to start with Norwegian Wood because Haley won’t stop raving about it on her Tumbler. It’s been adapted into a movie and is due to premiere in Japan this December. It stars “L” from the Deathnote movies. This should be interesting!

Norwegian Wood
is a simple love story; no extravagant, mouth-dropping plot twists or car chases across Rome. It was just a sheer honest piece of fiction, very gentle but grips hard on you. It was my first time to witness Murakami’s brilliance in story-telling. The narrative parts were made very tasteful with poetic words, enabling him to conjure this vivid image of the world through the eyes of the main character. He also made an excellent job in amplifying each character’s personality through engaging conversations. The novel is written in an autobiographical approach. I love novels written in such way. It’s easier to step on the character’s shoes and relate to the story. The version of the book I’ve read was translated in English by Jay Rubin, since it was originally written in Japanese. It’s incredible really. However, it makes me wonder how it would be like to read Murakami in its original context. Imagine if Bob Ong’s works were to be translated in English. Doesn’t feel right, is it?

Norwegian Wood, (Yep, the Beetles song) is about Toru, a conflicted young college student who fell in love with two girls: his classmate, Midori, and his dead bestfriend’s girlfriend, Naoko. To whom did he end up with? Well, I suggest you read it. The guy’s clearly confused, because I got confused too which I is exactly the point I think.

I am now currently reading Murakami’s
After Dark. Awoo!


Anonymous said...

your telling made me want to just grab a book and read. salamat sa inspirasyon!

kcatwoman said...

hi there, i have doubts about reading any of murakami's works bec a friend of mine compared his works to coehlo and frankly, i think his works are overrated. but i guess since youve written it here, murakami is worth trying.

i also love ian mcewan. he's the best ive read in years :) what other books do you love? as for me, i love dan brown but he's a tad bit too popular, what do you think? any recommends?


Chyng said...

hhmm, them read them all at once! hehe

Paul said...

the first book I read from Murakami! nice story! :)

Elias Jayson said...

the master of seduction fiction. hail murakami. HAHA

~Kinesics said...

you gotta read all Murakami's books-- he's one of my few favorites! :)

ShatterShards said...

Ebooks!!! Send some of those my way as well! Please? :-)

ShatterShards said...

Ebooks!!! Send some my way as well. Please? Hehe :-)

jeon said...

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single copy of this book. But I'm not giving up. Pero mukhang Ebay Philippines na lang yata pag-asa ko.

Dagitabb said...

Maraming Murakami sa Powerbooks. Vintage pa yung publisher, simple na maganda. As in maraaaaaaaaami. Try mo pumunta dun. Mga 600 each. Ebook, libre lang, meron ako, gusto mo copy? Pero mas maganda kung mula sa libro.