08 March 2008

How Did You Discover Murakami?

I was working under the Seventh Fleet and one day read in the Asahi Shimbun about a very unique and cutting edge multi-media stage production of The Elephant Vanishes. At the time, I had just started riding the trains, and was interested in learning more about the culture and psyche of my gracious hosts. I wanted to turn to literature, so a friend picked me up a copy in the bookstore. It was profoundly esoteric and beautiful.

What's just beyond the grasp of easy understanding is a subject worthy of long-time pursuit. As meaning-making creatures, people seek to understand their world and relationships with people confronting the same task. This literature brings to mind Lacanian theory - jouissance and the signified 'Other' - and imperatives at different levels of perception.

“There are lots of things we never understand, no matter how many years we put on, no matter how much experience we accumulate. All I can do is look up from the train at the windows in the buildings that might be hers. Every one of them could be her window, it sometimes seems to me, and at other times I think that none of them could be hers. There are simply too many of them.” - Haruki Murakami

Through this chance exposure to Haruki-san, I found a truly avant-garde author and was helped to not only see but also feel “the extraordinary in what is all around us,” for which I will always be grateful.

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