I have a Murakami problem. I cannot stop consuming his words and immersing in his life worlds.
It all began nine weeks ago when I decided that I could no longer stomach runs and re-runs and re-reruns of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ and ’19 Kids and Counting’ on the teley. Jönköping is a relatively small, quiet city and there isn’t much else to do in the dead of the night. The selection of English books in the three local Akademibokhandeln were very limited. I didn’t want to pick up LOTR or FSOG. So I bought my first ever Murakami – Norwegian Wood.
And then my addiction kind of spiraled out of control.
I’m on to my last three days here at the MMTC and Jönköping, and I want to memoralize all my intimate moments with these books that have accompanied me on long commutes and flights and quiet nights. I hope that I never cease to enjoy fiction, even as I sit with a rather convoluted academic text on feminized labour on reality TV this morning.
Nine Murakami in nine weeks. It’s been a good run.
“Some people get a kick out of reading railway timetables and that’s all they do all day. Some people make huge model boats out of matchsticks. So what’s wrong if there happens to be one guy in the world who enjoys trying to understand you?”
Kafka on the shore
“The forest doesn’t frighten me any more. It has its own rules and patterns, and once you stop being afraid you’re aware of them. Once I grasp these repetitions, I make them a part of me.”
The wind-up bird chronicle
“My body has run out of electricity. I haven’t been able to sleep for days now. The minute I get to sleep I wake up, and then I can’t get back to sleep. I can’t think. When I get like that, somebody has to charge my batteries. Otherwise, I can’t go on living. It’s true.”
“There was a huge gap between the image I had of what an adult should be and the actual adults around me. You get older, gain knowledge and experience, but inside you don’t grow as a person one little bit. Take away the outer appearance and the superficial knowledge and what’s left is no better than a child.”
After the quake
“It’s better that you don’t remember. The whole terrible fight occurred in the area of imagination. That is the precise location of our battlefield. It is there that we experience our victories and our defeats. Each and every one of us is being of limited duration: all of us eventually go down to defeat.”
The strange library
“The sheep man has his world. I have mine. And you have yours, too. Am I right?… So just because I don’t exist in the sheep man’s world, it doesn’t mean that I don’t exist at all.”
“write about things as if I didn’t know them… If I said from the beginning, Oh, I know that, no need to spend my precious time writing about it… On the flip side of everything we think we absolutely understand lurks an equal amount of the unknown. Understanding is but the sum of our misunderstandings.”
A wild sheep chase
“On distance swims between two islands, I would sometimes stop mid-course to look around. To find myself equidistant between two points gave me the funniest feeling. To think that back on dry land people were going about business as usual was pretty peculiar too. Unsettling, that society could go on perfectly well without me.”
Blinding willow, sleeping woman
“People think of all kinds of things at three in the morning. We all do. That’s why we each have to work out our own way of fighting it off.”
I have a Murakami problem. Am I also a Murakami cliché?
Also, bless my potentially overweight luggage on the flight back to Perth this weekend. Maybe I could charm the desk staff with Murakami quotes?