Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Almost Transparent Blue

 I think it's decided that Ryu Murakami's style and stories are the types that shock you, or at least they do their best, but this short book seemed even more shocking than I had expected. If I had to summarize it in three words, those words would be: sex, drugs and violence, with a pinch of rock'n roll and poetry, no matter how cliched or unexpected that may be.

"I see Lily wading into the field, spreading her hands like fins, drenching her body. Raindrops are glinting fish scales." 

The story was written back in 1976, when Ryu was still in college, and it presents the monotonous lives of a few teenagers trapped in the vicious acts of violence, overdoses and orgies. The read is surely to make you feel visceral sickness, yet you will still want to finish it, and this is why Ryu is such a phenomenal writer, once it grips you, you cannot escape...the story of lost youth can be disgusting, but you don't want to end the journey because you are trapped among words that still captivate.

I’m on this ground, and on this same ground are trees and grass and ants carrying sand to their nests, little girls chasing rolling balls, and puppies running. This ground runs under countless houses and mountains and rivers and seas, under everywhere. And I’m on it. Don’t be scared, I’d told myself, the world is still under me.” 

I found the book extremely powerful and personal to the writer and it is the clear proof that beneath the filth, art can still be present.

Read for The Japanese Literature Challenge.

P.S. The writer signed the script for the movie with the same title in 1989... 


Bellezza said...

" don't want to end the journey because you are trapped among words that still captivate." That's just the way I felt about Piercing. It was brutal and violent and shocking and yet somehow mesmerizing. He is really able to write about the basest things in a fantastic way,

Ally said...

I remember you having read Piercing after I kept on praising the book... I found Piercing better than this one, but then, this was his first one and he surely improved his story line a bit :)