Monday, September 3, 2012

Understanding Murakami

What is it that makes a Murakami novel or short story so compelling? Why does he use various signs and symbols to enrich his plots? What is his take on colonialism, capitalism and all that? The Quarterly Conversation dissects all of these things, and more,  in its current issue through a bunch of essays under the caption  MURAKAMI ROUNDTABLE. Recommended for all literary enthusiasts.

Signs and symbols are essential to a Murakami novel. Sometimes Murakami gives us an explanation that’s meant to be a sign: a scientist explains that certain events have changed a character’s neural pathways, and that’s why she’s a new person. Sometimes Murakami gives us a symbol: the narrator of Hard-Boiled Wonderland says that his explanation is just something he made up for convenience’s sake. Occasionally, Murakami makes it very clear that something is to be a sign or a symbol, but far more often he leaves it vague. The essence of a Murakami novel is his exploitation of our uncertainty as to whether a story is a sign or a symbol.

No comments:

Search This Blog

My Blog List