Wednesday, 13 July 2011

挪威的森林 Norwegian Wood

Reading Haruki Murakami's works, I'd say, is more like a fashion rather than pure enjoyment of literature. This fact has remained unchanged for years. After its debut in the 90s, 20 years have gone by, and his name and works somehow generalised into a symbol, once of the rebel generation, and then turning into taste related to sort of elite bohemian lifestyle, finally popularised into a NAME that stands for light and pointless sentiment. You read it, then you write like him, and eventually you live like it. That's sort of devastating.

I guess that's why I wasn't that interested in it years ago after reading a few pages of one of his short novels.
Until weeks ago, a friend of mine describe how the novel touches his heart. A short and simple sentence on the book jacket caught my eyes:

"Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it." 

That's enough for me to grab the book and spend entire Saturday afternoon and another Sunday night on it. I've been confused and disturbed weeks after my ant's death. When she was in the hospital, treated for cancer, and her family was told it was the terminal stage months ago, I had never thought things would get worse so fast. I did not expect anything so strong, so emotional, so uncontrollable like this. Death.

I need answers and probably someone who understands. The later is easier. I found warmth in Haruki's indifferent coldness, like a cup of cocoa in a snowy winter day, giving you quick warm-up though it doesn't change anything at all.

Haruki once said some readers reckon it disappointing when they found out that it was actually 'just a love story'. Some other suggest it was actually a self-portrayed novel.

I find the detachment and penetrating tone is somehow soothing nonetheless. It simply tells a story of a life, though particular and peculiar, stolid and quietly depressed, yet its sentiment and sensation overwhelm.
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