Jun 17, 2014

1Q84


source: A Murakami Fan Blog

It was almost five years ago when I read the book for the first time and found myself in trouble getting it. I just was not as moved or impressed as by other Murakami’s novels. How has it turned out this time… still not much impression or enlightenment. All the same, the story has finally made sense to me. It is very important since I have been a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Murakami and learned so much just so much from him.

1Q84 is basically a love story. While many pages are spared on religion and belief system at large, as far as seeing them as a resolution to insecurity, things do not much deviate from love. Nevertheless, it comes with as many, if not more, metaphors as his other novels. To me, its elaboration is far greater than usual and keeps itself from becoming a touching story. I am not the one who finds a fetish for cracking codes.

Many reviews call it a magic. Murakami knows “how to tell a love story without getting cute” —Malcolm Jones. I must admit that I tried to pull threads out of the air and could not help looking up at the sky to count the number of moons. As his famous comment on The Catcher in the Rye, it is very true of 1Q84:
That rare miracle of fiction has again come to pass: a human being has been created out of ink, paper, and the imagination.
Clifton Fadiman
Some associate 1Q84 with surrealism, and there are indeed some surrealistic features. It is, to me, not that surreal; it just makes full use of metaphors and touches on metaphysical questions. This is a story that most of us can empathize with and for that matter quite realistic.

It is, though, no more than entertainment. I cannot help feeling “seen it all before”; all the narratives, thoughts and notions have been somewhere in his works such as Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood or Kafka on the Shore. While Murakami will likely continue to be considerably influential on me, it is probably time for me to grow out of him.

Here is one of the beautiful quotes.
No matter how clear the relationships of things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it differed from math. The role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell. That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 Book 1 p.178