Norwegian Wood

I finished Norwegian Wood just now. Haruki Murakami's one of those guys who, like Kurt Vonnegut and Neil Gaiman, can run paragraphs as smooth as tap water from old Victorian sinks. What Murakami does that I haven't seen Vonnegut or Gaiman do, though, is he fills his pages with an atmosphere of utter lonliness, and he manages it in a way that's idd'n overly dramatic or depressing.

I think it's the Japaneseness of his writing style that's doing it and, if I'm not mistaken, that's the point. The first time I cracked this book open was at a party and I only read the first page-an-a-half. I had a beer in me and I almost cried. I mean damn. Maybe it's all the music he studied. Maybe that's the secret. Vonnegut's prose sings and makes everything gold, even the bad things. Gaiman's sings too, in a kinda storytime-nostalgia-nouveau way. Everyone sings, I guess, if I'm going to be a dancing litcrit stoner about it, but I can't get away from the one-part-beautiful one-part-horrifying sense of the expansion of spacetime that Murakami brings to sociology in his books. At least the two I've read.

Anyways, now that I'm in the happiest state of sad I've been in since the last time I finished The Little Mermaid, I'll be going to bed. Jamie, if you're reading this, I can near guarantee your gift'll be late, as I've yet to send it. I got you a Nintendo game. Don't buy a Nintendo; I've taken care of it.


Kori the tomorrow lady said...

why have I not read Gaimen? perplexing. Murakami and Vonnegutt are masterminds. I'll have either of their depressive half alien love children any day.

I've decided I must read everything Henry Miller first.

my American friends spend a lot of time watching movies...cutting into the learning Spanish and writing and reading. but they feel I need to be cultured.

who knew?

Jason said...

Miller's probably a better bet. More literary. Gaiman's intelligent and charming and entertaining, but he's much lighter than a lot of the stuff I saw moving around our bookswaps. I recommend his first book of short stories, Smoke & Mirrors.