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