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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
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Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - M.R. 13 > Discussion - Week Three - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Book Two, ch. 4 - 14

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message 1: by Jim (last edited Nov 28, 2013 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
This discussion covers Book Two, Chapter 4 – 14, p. 206 - 313


Lieutenant Mamiya writes an epilogue. Creta explains mental prostitution. Deep down in a dry well, Toru goes through the looking glass the wall. May blots out the stars. Back above ground, Creta gives Toru a Cretan proposition.



To avoid spoilers, please restrict your comments to p. 1 – 313

IMPORTANT REMINDER: We’re trying out a new discussion format. Instead of posting one week at a time, all discussion segments will be posted on the first day of reading. If you read faster than the weekly schedule and wish to comment on later portions of the book, please choose the correct week and try to limit your comments to the particular section.


Betty Asma (everydayabook) For me, the two outstanding images in this section, so far, are the gelatinous jellyfish, an image which unsurprisingly reappears in the spongy go-through wall between the room and the well and which differently affects Kumiko (fantastic) and Toru (icky). The other image is the tension in the profoundly dark, isolated bottom of the well, given that May K. pulled up the ladder (why?) and seems in no hurry to replace it during their discussions, her absences, and his unhurried contemplation.


Betty Asma (everydayabook) The mind-body interactions within a character and between characters seem unfounded on anything concrete, i.e. not readily grasped, (Murakami is letting his imagination run away with the story). Not to forget are the temporary lapses in characters' consciousnesses and the paranormal events frequently happening.

With the name given to Creta, wouldn't Greek mythology surface someplace in the story, either in substance or in metaphor? Anyway, she's talking about changing her name.


message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Asma wrote: "With the name given to Creta, wouldn't Greek mythology surface someplace in the story, either in substance or in metaphor? Anyway, she's talking about changing her name. .."

Have you seen any passages that would correspond to Greek myth? Creta just seems to be a name chosen by her sister Malta to signify a new personage after her defilement by Noboru. But then, the Greeks covered a lot of territory so I'm sure there's something in the book that could be linked.


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

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Stacie wrote: "http://www.crete-alacarte.com/en/abou...

Chronos-could be the bird
Minotaur-hideous lackey working for Noboru

It's hard to pin down, because nothing is an exact fit, but I think there is definitely some greek myth correspondence.

This one sort of sounds right to me. Malta would be the sister, could Kumiko be a representational half sister of sorts? Her uncle was in charge (“king of Crete”); her brother succeeded him, references to war… Odysseus speaks to his wife in disguise…We sort of had that in the reverse with the telephone....."


Hmmmmm... seems like a lot of fudging to shoehorn this in. I'd say it would be hard to make a clear argument in favor of a Greek connection other than the fact that Greek mythology includes just about every plot point you can imagine, and so technically, you can make connections to almost any work of fiction.


message 6: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Stacie wrote: "Newbie(ish) and green; I REALLY, apologize, in advance, for what you (might be) about to witness :) Don't read it, if you don't want to; I marked it as a spoiler.



I don't have much of a, what I..."


I think your insights and comments are very much relevant and on target. You can remove the spoiler html as I see no reason to hide what you've written.


Casceil | 90 comments I've been having trouble getting through this section. I got really tired of Toru being stuck in the well. I have trouble understanding why he spent the night down there in the first place. And why did May pull up the ladder? Toru never actually asked her to drop the ladder back down the well. Why not? May seems to have just gone off and left him. But then Creta shows up. No explanation why Creta would think to look for Toru in a covered well in a deserted back yard down the alley from his house. Did she (or maybe Malta) just have a hunch?


message 8: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Casceil wrote: "I've been having trouble getting through this section. I got really tired of Toru being stuck in the well. I have trouble understanding why he spent the night down there in the first place. And ..."

Recall that Toru, Creta, Malta, and others operate in an alternate psychic space and so are able to communicate outside the physical world. People who are psychic are able to discover things by fairly precise "hunches", and so Creta was able to save Toru, though even she is unable to explain the hows and whys in any precise way. Murakami leaves the details to the reader's imagination.

Later in the book, May will explain why she pulled up the ladder.


Casceil | 90 comments Thanks, Jim. I will look forward to May's explanation.


message 10: by Betty (last edited Dec 19, 2013 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Betty Asma (everydayabook) Stacie wrote: "Chronos-could be the bird
Minotaur-hideous lackey working for Noboru

It's hard to pin down, because nothing is an exact fit, but I think there is definitely some greek myth correspondence......"


Re: references in the novel so far to ancient Greece.

The references I found pointing out Greek symbols refer to an unfortunate prediction or an unfulfilled expectation--the face of the dry-cleaner when asked for the polka-dot tie, the physical pose of the guitarist in the bar before the demonstration, the weeds around the bird sculpture before a to-be-revealed oracle before Toru re-encounters May after she left him in the well, Creta's learning about Greece to move on her own initiative to Crete. Those images set a tone of expectant tragedy though the outcomes are better than expected.


Betty Asma (everydayabook) Stacie wrote: "...That is brilliant!"

Stacie, thank you so much. The Greek images are in the characters' and of nature's poses. The descriptive poses set a tone (of impending trouble?). Murakami is theatrical regarding twists of fate...winds breaking up clouds.


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