Steven Buechler's Reviews > Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jul 01, 2012

it was amazing

A great look into identity and relationships we try to forge for ourselves.

Page 17
"As Sumire and Miu sat there together at the table at the wedding reception, they did what everybody else did in the world does in such situations, namely, introduce themselves. Sumire hated her own name and tried to conceal it whenever she could. But when somebody asks you your name, the only polite thing to do is to go ahead and give it.
According to her father, her mother had chosen the name Sumire. She loved the Mozart song of the same name and had decided long before that if she had a daughter that woudl be her name. On a shelf in their living room was a record of Mozart's songs, doubtless the one her mother had listened to, and when she was a child, Sumire would carelfully lay this heavy LP on the turntable and listen to the song over and over. Elizabeth Schwarzkopf was the soprano, Walter Gieseking on piano. Sumire didn't understand the lyrics, but from the graceful motif she felt sure the song was a paean to beautiful violets blooming in a field. Sumire loved that image.
In junior high, though, she ran across a Japanese translation of the song in her school library and was shocked. The lyrics told of a callous shephard's daughter trampling down a lapless little violet in a field. The girl didn't even notice she'd flattened the flower. It was based on a Goethe poem, and Sumire found nothing redeeeming about it, no lesson to be learned.
How could my mother give me the name of such an awful song?" Sumire said, scowling.
Miu arranged the cormers of the napkin on her lap, smiled neutrally, and looked at Sumire. Miu's eyes were quite dark. Many colors mixed together, but clear and unclouded.
"Do you think the song is beautiful?"
"Yes, the song itself is pretty."
"If the music is lovely, I think that should be enough. After all, not everything in this world can be beautiful, right? Your mother must have loved that song so much the lyrics didn't bother her. And besides, if you keep making that kind of face, you're going to get some permanent wrinkles."
Sumire allowed her scowl to relax.

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message 1: by Al (new)

Al Haruki is sure becoming a contemporary heavy weight. Takes an acquired taste like good liquor. :-) and complicated strong women. The initial awkward taste and strong flavor is worth the patience. ;-)

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