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

5 comentarios:

  1. Don't get worried about being idiot, you're not! Kafka is such a very complicated book and, indeed, it's even more complicated once you've read it in english... But do you think that Murakami is so good? I mean, I've read like 3 books written by him and then, I realized that all those books are quite similar. It's sort of what happens with Paul Auster, they both are nice writers but they just have one good book repeated among the time. Do not get wrong with me, I almost cry with Norwegian Wood and Kafka still is one of my favorite books, but that's all, Murakami is done for me and, after reading this, I wonder if you could give me a recommendation about what to read in order to change my opinion.

    (Congrats, you, 2$ bitch, write so good. And if you fancy: http://elparadigmaintertextual.blogspot.com Lately I've been writing in English, I don't know why, I suppose I'm done with Spanish.... weird stuff)

  2. Mmmm, it's true that his books follow a similar pattern -for instance, I haven't read any of his books where there wasn't a mysterious woman missing or something like that- but I think it happens with most of the writers, it also happens with Carlos Ruiz Zafón. But I like his books so much, and I find him such an intelligent man that it's something I don't take into account. Maybe I'm overestimating him, I don't know. It's just my point of view, but I understand that you look for something more in a writer.

    I don't think this book will change your opinion, but if you read After Dark and then give me your theory about WTF happens there, I'd be very glad. It's really... challengingly confusing xD
    2$ bitch... that's new! :D thanx ^^

  3. Corto y conciso
    Y en español. Si hay algo que he aprendido, es a no hacer cosas que no sepa hacer, y ahora mismo escribirte esto en ingles perfectamente es una de elas xDDD

    Que sepas que no pensaba dejármelo, me gusta mucho su estilo de echo. Pero simplemente no tengo tiempo. Dame mi tiempo. Lento si, pero no siempre. Cuando no duermo, por ejemplo(otra de mis muchas referencias a blogs y comentarios ajenos xDD).

    Lo dicho, corto, conciso, y en un idioma que crees que sabes xDDDD

    PD: ves? ahora mis frases encadenadas sin puntos ni comas se han convertido en frases cortas y egolatras. Murakami slips inside me LOL

  4. My little grasshopper,

    Once you told me how awesome was Murakami and how much you're fascinaited about it. So, I bought "Kafka on the Shore" and I read it expecting to be f*cking flabbergasted. The book has everything to me to like it: cats, books, cats, books, a library, a lot of cats and books... but I was so disapointed... I was easy star reading, easy carring on... but almost impossible to finish. I felt so stupid and sad. The book is still in my bookcase looking at me. Sometimes I look it and I think "you have everything, why I don't like you". I'm think I am not done for japanese literature... or I need to talk about =P

    PS. I LOVE the picture :3

  5. :(
    Dear Conscience,

    I'm sad to hear that you didn't like one of my favourite books. Especially because I recommended it to you in hopes that you'd fancy it as much as me and we could spread the Murakami love around together (cause Bryan is too dull to spread love around)...
    I agree that the final part of the book is a bit more difficult to get through, and maybe you didn't appreciate being left without a concrete answer after all the WTH moments.

    But well, to each their own. Even so, I'd tell you to read it again (if you've got the guts xD j/k) after a couple of years, since a lot can happen that might change your opinion ^^.

    Love hearing from you, darling :)