There are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts. Birds fly over them. Haruki MurakamiTweet
Almost the only impression for Haruki Murakami was his Norwegian Wood squeezed in the leftist side of mom’s bookshelf, trying to avoid my gaze, but carried the weight for sex education that was missing in high school. Decades passed, one of his earliest novels set a foundamental key for the sensation of all his masterpieces.
The design of the book brings you back to the age of cassette, A & B, two sides, but upside down. I actually read Pinball, 1973 first, and Hear the Wind Sing. It’s the wrong order, but like life, we all sometimes wish to flip it.
I’m surprised how fast I could get a hold of Murakami’s style of writing, and as an entrepreneur who ran a bar, his grasp of a style and structure of a story is really a gifted talent. His writing brings a gulp of fresh but chill air, like walking along a creek, on the rotten leaves, with your lover, friend, talking about life and leaving.
All things pass. None of us can manage to hold on to anything. In that way, we live our lives. Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball 1973 Haruki Murakami
Perhaps, running a bar gives Murakami a deep understanding of life, or maybe he doesn’t even need that as an observing platform. The profound sensation of life in his writing, even soaked in despair, in the inevitable farewells to friends and loved ones could touch your heart. Vividly, that’s how we live. We cannot get hold of anything forever, one has to let it go, it doesn’t matter what is it. IT! He said: language is tough. Yes, and it is tougher to master it.
In several places, he mentioned Kennedy, indicating how influential JFK’s death was in that age. But, his writing has never been political enough, which is precious and cherishable. That’s how politics affect us. Some even may say it’s not a big deal, but it’s flowing in daily conversations. Mundane. Plain. Full of meaning.
The tone in both books are similar, stories are consistent, it’s very Murakamique. I was fascinated by how he talked about his “kitchen stories” and his attempt to write in English. Another Nabokov maybe? Another language, another interpretation of life, another Murakami.
For what we feel about life, not the abstract concept, but the life itself, the LIFE that accompanied us everyday, Murakami knows how to expresses it to the “Perfect imperfection“. It is not the perfection of narrating, but the imperfect image of a life portrait. It’s ours. Everyone’s life. We encounter death, leaving, birth and some other insignificances, such as pride or dilemmas. It continues or it may stop. It’s just as natural as it sounds.
Like Pinball game, the classic game in Microsoft system. Now it impresses nobody, but was also my favourite game. I wasn’t a thinker like Murakami while playing it, but when he points out that Pinball machine is all about acceptance but not self-transformation, I realised it is what fascinated me.
The goal of pinball is self-transformation, not self-expression. It involves not the expansion of the ego but its diminution. Not analysis but all-embracing acceptance. Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball, 1973 Haruki Murakami
Stories are there, we could choose to tell it while let the birds fly.