Ariel's Reviews > Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Oct 24, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: magical-realism
Recommended to Ariel by: Corina
Read in October, 2008

Amazing. I'm so glad I read this book now, coming off a stretch of magical realism and thinking about the first few chapters of The View From Nowhere. How can we philosophically reconcile subjective reality from objectivity - and what are the limitations in our attempts to think of fundamentally personal or human ideas from an objective point of view? Not that we do that when reading fiction, but the characters in the book struggle constantly to understand themselves. Yes, they are all concerned with other people, but the focus always seems to be on the loneliness of self.

In some ways this provides a great motivation for thinking about the characters' issues philosophically, and in others it seems like these characters provide an authentic answer to these philosophical questions. Does that even make sense?

It seems to me that the narrator survives by objectivity. But by doing this he feels outside himself, and he seeks ties to the real world (loneliness). But for a person to survive on their own, shouldn't they be able to break those connections and survive?

Other characters seem by contrast to be inside themselves, which brings with it confusion and an inability to change course. But perhaps it is more true. There's also something romantic about being inside yourself and sharing that with someone. Those real connections are rare and fleeting.

Can these two worlds be reconciled in the same person or are they mutually exclusive? Thinking and not thinking, self and mirror. Is this exploration voluntary, or necessary and worth sacrifice? The motivation to do difficult things comes from that true place, that non-objective place inside you. If you lose it you don't need to look, it is always where it always was.

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