jueves, 9 de diciembre de 2010


“At any rate, you – and your theory – are throwing a stone at a target that's very far away. Do you understand that?” 
I nod “I know. But metaphors can reduce the distance.”
“We are not metaphors.”
“I know.” I say “But metaphors help eliminate what separates you and me.”
Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the Shore
Photo by melancolia-neroli on deviantart.

A few days ago, I lent one of my favourite books to a friend of mine and since he can be a bit lazy sometimes (admit it, it's true) I thought I'd write a little about it to encourage him to keep reading even if it may be slow sometimes. But don't worry, I don't tell spoilers like some people.

I first read this novel in English, which is one of the reasons I didn't understand half of the things that happen there. Even so, I fell in love with the charismatic characters, the dream-like feeling that it had sometimes, a love that defied time and space, the Japanese idiosyncracy that always fascinates me, a journey about looking for a home and, of course, the cats.

I couldn't leave it like that and, after some time, I read the book in Spanish. I still liked how the author could create atmospheres with music, his wide knowledge of literature, that the main character kept telling himself “you must be the toughest fifteen-year-old in the world”, the other-worldly silence of the woods, the boy called Crow... But I still couldn't understand a few things.

After that, I made my parents read it, because I was starting to think I had become an idiot. Thank goodness, they didn't find the answers to some questions either. But then, we started to talk about it while having dinner and came out with some pretty good theories for almost everything. And I had a very enjoyable time with my parents talking about it. That's probably one of the things I like most about this book: it's not just a great story, it slowly opens up to you, it makes you think about the reasons of everything that happens there, about hidden meanings, about metaphors and feelings...

In fact, Murakami himself said about his novel: "Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren't any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it in another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It's hard to explain, but that's the kind of novel I set out to write".

Well, I think I have nothing left to say. From my point of view, Haruki Murakami is one of the best writers I've ever read. Besides, he is also a well-known translator, he doesn't like fame and he used to manage a jazz bar because he is into that type of music. Can he get even more loveable? Yes, he can. He really loves cats.

It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. - James Keller

jueves, 25 de noviembre de 2010


Tonight I can't sleep, not because I don't want to, it is more related to the fact that I don't want to turn off the light. It sounds stupid, doesn't it? Well, I feel that way too, but I can't help feeling a little bit restless. Today, I watched with a friend of mine a horror movie and its images keep popping into my mind, no matter how much I insist my over-imaginative brain to think about some happier topic, it just won't listen to me.
Before giving up and deciding to start writing this until I was too tired to stay awake and -I have to admit- in hopes that after “talking” about this the fear would decrease a bit, I had been thinking about something the bad guy from the film said: that the common fear for all the small children from all over the world was the fear of darkness. And I started wondering why would that be. When it's day-time, with the sunlight, we can see everything around us and we can tell what can happen from what can't be done. However when we lie in the dark, in the darkest room where we can't see a thing, suddenly everything becomes possible. At 2 in the afternoon, it'd never cross my mind that an undead creature would be waiting for me in the shadows of the bathroom, but at 2 in the night/morning after watching a horror film, suddenly that situation doesn't seem so unheard of to my mind. Why do I insist on watching scary films if I know that later it'll be like this?
Damn, now I need to go to the bathroom... if you don't hear from me in a week or so, don't come for me. It would eat you too.
See you. I hope.

"It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning." - Colin Powell

martes, 2 de noviembre de 2010

The Train of Dreams

For some reason, today I remembered something that happened to me as a child. I don't remember exactly when this happened, but I'm sure I was still in elementary school.

One night I had this really scary nightmare that made me wake up covered in sweat and with my heart beating furiously against my ribs. In that first moment of half-consciousness, when you're still paralized by fear and you start to be aware of the sheets you're wraped up in, I could hear in my head the loud whistle of a train that announces its departure from a station. And in my childlike mind, still a bit foggy from sleep, it made perfect sense that it would be the Train of Dreams, that delivered a nightmare in my bed and after finishing its mission it went to another bedroom to give other dreams to other people. And I kept thinking it even after I was fully awake.

Even now, about 10 years later, although I don't believe it anymore, I still like this little “theory” of mine.

"There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking; when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsiousness." - Charles Dickens

P.S.  The picture is "Untitled - Design for the ball in the dream", a work of Salvador Dalí for the film "Spellbound", directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

Little pleasures

I often complain about how not being able to sleep is very annoying, but sometimes I think otherwise.
There are times when I think that laying on the bed in the semi-darkened room of the dormitory is really nice. Especially if there's rain outside. At those times, I curl up and cover myself up to my lips, listening to the small drops of water hitting ocasionally the window and the sound of the wind, like the eerie lullaby of an otherwordly creature. But instead of it making me restless or frightened, it makes me feel warm and protected by these four walls that I've come to think of as my second home.
And while I lie awake, I like thinking about a conversation I especially enjoyed, my friends, my family, a story I just read, my plans for the weekend, tomorrow... I think about these without any rush and, if I'm lucky, without worries.

I guess this is one of those little pleasures of life that you can only enjoy if you stop thinking about your work or studies and about how every minute you stay awake is a minute closer to the repetitive scream of your alarm clock beating your brain.

"And in a naked slumber, I dream of this again..."

“Bed is the best place for reading, thinking, or doing nothing.” -Doris Lessing

martes, 26 de octubre de 2010


(I found this when looking for a photo that would suit the blog)
It had to be Japanese...

Every shojo manga (Japanese comic especially aimed to young girls and centered in love stories) worth its salt has, at some point of the story, a scene in which the sweet and oblivious main character shyly lends her lap to the boy she likes because he is ill, injured or just a lazy ass who wants to sleep.
Besides this, the fact that some crazy Japanese company had the guts to make this kind of pillow, makes me wonder if it is some kind of national romantic fantasy or a scientific fact that people's laps make others sleep better.
Maybe I should try one to see if it helps me with my bad sleeping habits...? LOL! Although, I don't know... personally, I find these a little creepy...

Changing the subject, I thought it'd be nice to add to these entries some quotes related to sleep, to make it funnier. Of course, I won't take those words into account for the minimum of 4000 words I have to write in the blog :) .
So, the first one:

No human being believes that any other human being has a right to be in bed when he himself is up” – Robert Lynd.

jueves, 21 de octubre de 2010

"When you have insomnia you're never really asleep and you're never really awake"

Hello again!
This is my real first “I can't sleep” blog entry so I thought it'd be a good idea to talk about the probably most loved sleep-deprived character of the film industry. The thing is... no one knows his name.
I'm talking about the nameless narrator and protagonist of the film Fight Club, performed by Edward Norton.

Fight Club shows the story of an everyday man who lives alone, with no family nor friends, and works for an automovile company.
He suffers from imsomnia and so, because of a comment from his doctor (who is fed up with him saying he's suffering), he goes to a group therapy for men with testicular cancer. Eventually, he becomes addicted to these therapies since they help him cry and, consequently, sleep.

In these sessions, he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), another “tourist”who goes there for fun, and has to divide the therapies with her because her being there makes him unable to cry and then sleep.

Later on, he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a bussiness flight, a man who makes soap for a living. They talk a bit and Tyler gives him his telephone number. When the narrator gets home, he finds his apartment blown up and asks Tyler to meet him to talk. After a few drinks in a bar, they get out and Tyler offers his house for the narrator to stay, the only condition is that he has to hit Tyler as hard as he can. They start fighting and after that, they go home.
They keep on having these fights outside the bar and it starts to attract other people who want to participate, so they start the fight club, lead by Tyler. As time goes by and the members start becoming more involved, they create an anti-materialist and anti-corporate organisation, in which all the members have to do some “homework” without asking questions in order to complete the Project Mayhem, planned by Tyler.

At the same time, Marla and Tyler become sexualy involved and because of that relationship, the narrator and Marla also have to deal with each other.

What is Project Mayhem about? Why Tyler and Marla are never seen together in the film? Who blew up the narrator's appartment? What's Marla's role in all this?

Fight club is one of the most interesting and original films I've ever watched. And even thought reading reviews or watching the trailer may give you an idea of a commercial, free-violence film, it's nothing near the reality. It actually deals with themes like consumerism, growing up, disapointment with society, and real freedom.
So give it a chance, it's really worth it.

EDIT: I'll try to upload the videos I wanted to show here as soon as I can ¬¬ I hate blogger right now.

lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010

The beginning.

Well, hello, my name is Isabel Alabau and this is the first time I've tried to do a blog, so I'm not quite sure of what I should be saying in this first entry.
Maybe I should start saying (just in case someone happens to find this on the Internet by chance) that the entire blog will be in English since this is a work for my English class in my Translation and Interpretation degree in the “Universitat Jaume I”. Meaning, this is not my first language so please go easy on me, I know I'll make stupid mistakes.

Nevertheless, my brother, who helped me make this account, expects me to use this as a real blog which others can see and enjoy, and that's the only reason why this page isn't completely plain white and has a decent titol. Although I'm not sure I'll give this page to anyone apart from my teacher Justine... I guess it depends on how it will develope and if I'm not too ashamed of what I write.

First of all, I chose 'I can't sleep' as the title for my blog because I'll probably write it at night to kill time until sleepiness comes to me, even though I might update what I write the next morning or something...
I don't know what I'll write about... I guess that it'll be a mix of films, books and songs I like, like a lot of other students, but I'll try to make it a little different so that reading it to correct it won't be too boring.

All that said, I'll end this first entry here. And I'll try to make the next one a little better.
See you.