Friday, June 2, 2017

Norwegian Wood

Once again, having finished a second novel by Haruki Murakami, called Norwegian Wood, I am astounded and amazed. This is an author of such rare talent, vision and ability that one comes away more fully aware of the meaning in life, in love, in loss. It is a melancholy story of love and remembrance, of the power of love to persist in the face of death, and of the power of death, especially a death outside of the "proper" time, to live on in those who continue in the world.

And here is the great thing about Murakami. Here you have a book with numbered chapters of roughly 40 pages each, and then you get to chapter 6, which runs from page 133 to page 247. - 114 pages! Who does this kind of thing? I'll tell you who. A great writer does this kind of thing, a writer who will not be constricted by artificial conventions or rules. This is the center of the book, the heart of the story, a continuum in time that cannot be broken, that ever persists, wherein what is small in the frame of sequential time becomes large, overflowing, flooding the farthest corners of one's life. Murakami is a writer who is obediant to the story he is telling, not only regarding content, but also contour. The shape of the book mirrors the shape of the story. 

As I try to begin a new book, by another author, the elegant, melancholy rumination of Norwegian Wood remains with me, like someone I know, or someone I knew, gone,  lost, and yet eternally present.

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