Friday, February 8, 2008


Hello Everyone,

This is such a great idea. I've been meaning to read more & more widely for so long, but without any plan it never happened...

I'm going with Option #1. And I'll be trying (since I'll only be reading English Language short stories) to read stories written (in translation!) in 10 different countries--starting with Japan because I also have a copy of Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami!

1 comment:

Ovidia said...

February: Japan

* 'Tony Takitani' by Haruki Murakami.

Yes, the story the movie was based on. I find his writing draws me in like a conversation. At times it seems to go offtrack, but then you are never sure where precisely the track is supposed to be, and he has this beautiful voice and is creating a fascinating & enticing (though not necessarily beautiful) landscape so you just keep reading. Tony's self-sufficient isolation is so clearly presented at first. Necessarily evolved because of the name his almost pathologically self-absorbed (but charming) father allowed a well-intentioned but culturally obtuse American to bestow on the baby he had forgotten to name or collect from the hospital. But this self-sufficiency & therefore his protection against loneliness disappears once he falls in love... with the unnamed woman who we are told strikes him with how beautifully & naturally she dresses... like a bird wrapped in a special wind. However we also learn that her apparent natural appearance conceals an obsession with buying designer clothes. Trying to break herself of this--after returning an outfit that keeps flashing back to her mind--she is killed by a truck. And this time when Tony T is left alone he is truly alone. She leaves him with a roomful of beautiful dresses (size 7) and 112 pairs of shoes (22cm). He advertises for a secretary--no funny business involved--to wear his late wife's clothes. After changing his mind about this he is haunted by the image of the woman he almost hires bursting into tears at the sight of the roomful (larger than her whole apartment) of beautiful designer clothes. After that, he sells off the clothes at much less than they cost him. After his father dies, leaving him a large collection of jazz records, he sells these for much more than he expected, but none of these acts have any impact on the loneliness now colouring his isolation. This life, the roomful of clothes, the quick death, the jazz playing father... all these different pieces seem to be significant and yet significant only for a moment & only as long as they are remembered, but how long will that be?

Oh yes--I liked it. Wish I caught the movie!