Monday, January 12, 2015
Murakami all the way...
"If you don't know something, go to the library and look it up."
It's the 12th of January and it is Haruki Murakami's birthday! What better way to celebrate him than read one of his works and to start the new year and the challenges mentioned in the previous post I have chosen "The Strange Library", a dark story Murakami released in Japan in 2008 and in an English version with drawings at the end of last year.
The fable presents a boy who loves reading and who finds himself entrapped in an enormous labyrinth in the basement of the local library, expected to read books about how taxes were collected in the Ottoman empire and do his best in order to learn them by heart.... or else.
"Just because I don't exist in the sheep man's world, it doesn't mean that I don't exist at all."
Reality and illusion seem to mingle to perfection in this story and recurrent themes and characters put up an impressive show for the readers. Having read "Memoirs of a Shepherd", the boy seems to meet a shepherd in the basement; bitten by a ferocious black dog, he sees one there as well. The library with its hidden basement is actually meant to represent his subconscious.
How often do we find ourselves wondering about characters in the books we read, willing to meet them and interact with them? The boy seems to go through such an experience that leaves him wondering what really happened "how it feels to be alone, sadness surrounding me". Going back to 'the real world' after having been away for three days creates a feeling of loneliness and of missing out ... maybe girls speaking with their hands...
"The world follows its own course. Each possesses his own thoughts, each treads his own path."