Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Whisky Diaries - day 10 (on Haruki Murakami & The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)

Where am I right now? Sitting on a balcony in the jungle with my nose full of mosquito coil smoke (perhaps I love it more than any other scent in the world) and a steady windless rain falling all around me onto, then through, the canopy of trees (isn’t rain just the greatest in summer!) with a steady drip of water coming from a little hole in the roof, falling down through the air, then landing on my shoulder and trickling down my front (like the rain is tapping me, saying: “hello”) and the last flavours of a vanilla Cornetto leaving the deep rivets of my back molars (but in reference to that earlier post, I still officially prefer chocolate  Cornettos) and thinking about the pesto spaghetti I will soon partake in for early dinner.

About half an hour ago, though, it was sunny with now rain, and I was somewhere different. I promptly stood up from my swing, dug my feet into the sand and screamed in rage and pain towards the ocean, flinging a heavy book as far as I could and watching it sail downwards and land awkward and bent with a thud into the soft sand. Phuong snapped her attention to me out from her own large book, and I just stared intently out to the water – it rippled and sparkled in the setting sun as if it was laughing at me. 

     “Hah hah hah, little one. Paper must not rile you so! I’ve seen an eternity that could not even by conceptualised by this Murakami tormentor.” It spoke to me with a voice like the Cheshire Cat. Its creeping tide like a big lazy tongue. Me standing on its great big beard of a beach.
     “I’m guessing you just finished?” Phuong inquired, not really alarmed.
     “Yeah. And it fucked me over, man. It fucked my brain hardcore. I can’t believe he did it. I can’t believe he would betray me like this. After all the hours I spent and invested in this book, and I get to the end, and he just kicks me in the face.”
     “Hmmm.” Was Phuong’s response.
Hmmm indeed, Phuong, hmmm indeed.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a one-of-a-kind book. I’m certain of that much, but not a whole lot else. The entire thing bashes reality and dreams and the subconscious together until each of the three are so mooshy and broken that they are forced to occupy the same space. It sounds abstract, but that’s exactly what this book is – constantly forcing you to remain detached from the characters and from the truth. Not revealing itself until the last ten percent of the pages. Keeping you in the dark both literally and metaphorically until it wants to reveal itself. Like a shy bird. Like its dickhead of an author.

But Murakami is not a dickhead of an author, obviously, I mean, it’s clear that I’m more annoyed at myself than I am at him. I skulled this book, thirsty for answers, when it’s actually more of a fine wine whose taste needs to be coaxed into the mouth and the mind, savoured to be understood. I’m given to understand that it’s a complex and strange book even for the brightest of minds and this does bring me some comfort. He just raises so many thousands of different questions on every page! Every sentence is so full of possible meaning and yet so vague and unfulfilling! I cannot imagine anyone who could, on their first read, simply stroll through it. No, I don’t feel guilty really. More just intenself baffled. Yes, that’s it.

I’m intensely baffled by The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

I haven’t done any research into since beginning or finishing it, and I only just now even read the blurb, so you can be sure that I don’t have any kind of special insight that an non-ordinary reader might have. I’m going to go Google the shit out of this bitch as soon as I’m done writing this post. You can be sure of that. What you can also be sure of, is that I want you to read this book. It may seem strange to notice, but I felt like this book treated me a like a smart adult. I also noted on numerous occasions that Murakami’s narration was profound. Like, I’m talking, really profound. I probably even missed a lot of the awesomeness of it because I was so damn keen to speed to the end of answers. But the awesomeness that I did notice, well, it was really fucking awesome.

Do it, dude. Just read it. Fling your brain off that cliff in an act of trail-by-fire literary adventure. You’ll get all ripped up in the cortex, but you’ll come out the other side with all kind of understandings about things you never realised had any significance. Do it because if you can even come close to understanding Murakami’s genius, then you yourself will therefore be genius. Do it so that you can tell people you haven’t only read IQ84.
(Totally unrelated image, but proof from Phuong's
camera that I can ride a scooter.)
I’m going to go now. On an adventure into the depths of the internet, and I hope I return just before dinner time (yum pesto) with the answers to a lot of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’s questions. Wish me luck, and in the meantime, please read it then scream and try to throw it into the ocean only to be relieved a few moments later that you weren’t strong enough to fling it that far and then pick it up lovingly and stroke it because it trapped you like Stockholm Syndrome. And then you too should also eat pesto spaghetti. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I'm so glad to hear this. You got it. As I said, it will mindfuck you so hard. You keep looking for answers and the possibility to be the model reader. And he just flips the table over. I like it. Who has the right to define what a piece of literature should do to you or how a reader should approach it? No one. Embrace and dive into more Murakami. yo.


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