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1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
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1Q84 - Spine 2013 > Discussion - Week Three - 1Q84 - Book 1, ch. 16 - 24

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
This discussion covers Book 1, Chapter 16 – 24, p. 248 – 387


Air Chrysalis wins the new writers’ award and Tengo preps Fuka-Eri for her first press conference. Aomame and the dowager share some girl talk with Tsubasa. After a successful press conference, Tengo meets with Fuka-Eri and the professor to discuss possible outcomes of the whirlpool. After a harrowing narrative, Aomame, the Dowager, and Tsubasa enter dreamland while the Little People get to work. Tengo reads Fuka-Eri a bedtime story about the Gilyaks. Cagney and Lacey Aomame and Ayumi compare facts on Sakigake. Fuka-Eri goes missing while Air Chrysalis is selling like hot-cakes. On a dead Friday night, Aomame and Ayumi strike out. Tengo receives a tape from Fuka-Eri, and later discusses Dick-ens with his older girlfriend.

End of Book 1.


To avoid spoilers, please limit your comments to p. 1 - 387


Whitney | 326 comments This section has a lot of what I consider key to the world of 1Q84 and its relation to 1984.

For starters, there’s Ebisano’s discussion of how Orwell essentially prevented a Big Brother-like totalitarianism by giving it a name so that people would recognize it. So instead of the jackboot endlessly stomping a face, we have something subtler seeking to control people, namely the Little People.

In discussing 1984 with Fuka-Eri, , Tengo tells her that in 1984 Big Brother was rewriting history, and that “If our collective memory is taken from us—is rewritten—we lose the ability to sustain our true selves.” Speaking to Aomame, Ayumi says “That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.” Finally, there’s the taxi driver’s comment to Aomame that “There’s always only one reality.” 1Q84 is not a different reality; it’s a different perception of reality, driven by the Little People.

Reading the archived newspapers, Aomame finds three things different from how she remembers history: the shoot-out with Akebono that resulted in the change of police uniforms, the moon base (and later two moons), and the stabbing of the student by the NHK fee collector. When Ebisano is discussing the shoot-out with Tengo, Tengo recalls the event dimly, but dredging up the memory makes him feel like he’s being twisted in two directions. Tengo is starting to be pulled into the reality / memory of 1Q84 by Fuka-Eri’s story and, presumably, his connection to Aomame. Soon after this occurs, Tengo’s discussion with Komatsu makes it clear that he is still in a world with one moon, evidence that 1Q84 isn’t a different and complete world, but is instead an effect of changing perceptions.

Finally, on the tape she sends Tengo, Fuka-Eri says that the Gilyaks continue to walk through the forest instead of on the road because to walk on the road they would have to remake the way they walk, and hence remake other things. This suggests that being drawn into 1Q84 is a process that starts once a concession is made to the new reality. In Aomame’s case, it’s getting off the motorway. In Tengo’s, it’s agreeing to rewrite ‘Air Chrysalis’.

This isn’t to trivialize things. In Murakami, subjective reality IS a meaningful reality. I’m thinking especially of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, where half the book takes place inside the main character’s head.

I have other questions I’d love to see people’s opinions on, but I’m saving them for another post since this one is running a bit long.


Mekki | 63 comments It is interesting how fuka-eri compared tengo to 1984's big brother, in that they both rewrite stuff.

Then tengo's describing the novel he's writing, which in cludes the new details being added to aomame's life.

very very interesting.....


Whitney | 326 comments Mekki wrote: "It is interesting how fuka-eri compared tengo to 1984's big brother, in that they both rewrite stuff.

Then tengo's describing the novel he's writing, which in cludes the new details being added to..."


Yes! That is related to one of the other things I was going to bring up. In another group that was discussing this book, it was mentioned how Tengo tells his girlfriend that he is writing a novel that is about a world with two moons and also about himself. This lead to speculation that Tengo is the actual author of 1Q84. If anyone thinks this is the case, what other evidence is there to support the idea? How does it fundamentally change things? Could the adult Aomame just be Tengo's fiction resulting from a childhood encounter?

I'm not really a big proponent of this theory, but thought I would throw it out there.


message 5: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Mekki wrote: "It is interesting how fuka-eri compared tengo to 1984's big brother, in that they both rewrite stuff.

Then tengo's describing the novel he's writing, which in cludes the new details being added to..."



Winston receives praise from his boss O'Brien for his rewriting skills, much the way that Tengo receives similar praise from Komatsu. Many links between the two stories, for sure.

@Whitney - It's certainly a temptation to imagine Tengo as writing Aomame's reality. Fuka-Eri's behavior triggered Tengo's memory of the 10-year-old Society of Witnesses girl he went to school with, so we could conclude that he is imagining her grown up and living in 1Q84. At this point it's hard to say for sure. But then, how do we explain the Little People?


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