21st Century Literature discussion

Kafka on the Shore
This topic is about Kafka on the Shore
108 views
2014 Book Discussions > Kafka on the Shore - Chapters 1 through 20 (Spoilers Allowed) November 2014)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Edgarf | 44 comments This thread is for spoilers allowed discussion of Kafka On Shore. I am especially interested about individual views on the use of Myth and Magic. I have been interested so far in the mix of Eastern and Western Culture.


Edgarf | 44 comments As this is my first attempt at leading a discussion please feel free pass your advice on to me either publicly or through private message.

Edgar


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments One question that interests me, is how reliable of a narrator is Nakata? Are the various strange things he reports true, or the product of his (perhaps) damaged mind? I myself am inclined to believe he is reporting as accurately as he is able, even if his understanding is not quite normal. The world of this novel is simply that weird.

But I don't think this weirdness is either myth or magic, but rather that in Murakami's writing, the fantastic and the normal are on equal terms, both equally true.


message 4: by Lacewing (last edited Nov 02, 2014 01:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lacewing I'm very much into Buddhism, especially Zen. Also, somewhere or other I read that Murakami's paternal grandfather was a Zen priest.

I wish I knew more, but I'll make some guesses. Nakata fills the role of a know-nothing attitude, and Japan's humility after the war. Cats are critters who fulfill their own natures, like Zen masters. (They can be pretty strange, from what I've read.) The events that seem magical express a Zen/Buddhist sensibility of we-ness, of a profound lack of distance between self and other; also for acknowledging how weird we and the whole world can be. I won't mention examples for fear of spoiling beyond chapter 20, as I'm not sure anymore where they occur in the book.


Edgarf | 44 comments Peter wrote: "One question that interests me, is how reliable of a narrator is Nakata? Are the various strange things he reports true, or the product of his (perhaps) damaged mind? I myself am inclined to beli..."
I have been thinking the same about reliability of Nakata. I have doubts whether Kafka is reliable also.


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Or questions on the reliability of Kafka/Crow, since it seems unclear if they are separate persons or not.


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Or questions on the reliability of Kafka/Crow, since it seems unclear if they are separate persons or not."

Or is Crow some splintered part of Kafka? The cat Otsuka tells Nakata that his shadow looks like half of it had gotten separated, and tells him he should be looking for the other half. Also, Oshima tells Kafka the Aristophanes story of people searching for their other halves.

The discussion of shadows reminds me of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, where (minor spoiler) (view spoiler)


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "But I don't think this weirdness is either myth or magic, but rather that in Murakami's writing, the fantastic and the normal are on equal terms, both equally true..."

I think this is really well stated. I think getting bogged down in questions of "did this or that 'really' happen" frequently tends to be a dead-end when discussing Murakami.


message 9: by Lily (last edited Nov 02, 2014 06:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Whitney wrote: "I think getting bogged down in questions of "did this or that 'really' happen" frequently tends to be a dead-end when discussing Murakami...."

LOL! Since I tend to listen to Murakami rather than reading him, I do also get confused between understanding and having fallen asleep, missing something key! Murakami being Murakami, to some extent I've given up caring and go along for the ride. (The original KotS audio is probably the most elegantly packaged of any CD set I have or have used. A separate booklet of Chapter "titles" (more quotations than titles per se) is provided, as well as titles being printed with corresponding track numbers on each CD jacket. Yes, it was pricey, even with the coupon I probably used, so am enjoying this excuse to re-listen.)

How do you think about who Crow is? (As I reread this, I realize you all have given some clues.)


message 10: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments I believe we are told what date the incident with the children occurred. Are we told the date/time for Kafka's flight from his father's home?

Markers I had to check:
Hiroshima bombing -- August 6, 1945
Nagasaki bombing -- August 9, 1945

B-29's were the U.S. planes used in bombing raids on Japan. We are aware of the devastation of the August bombings, but a brief survey indicates Japan was target of conventional bombing raids as well. I haven't read enough history of this period/area to have a strong sense of the (long-lasting) emotional impacts on the people, beyond devastating. I know Murakami touches on some of the emotional hang-overs of Japanese-Chinese warfare in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I don't recall exploring similar issues the last time through KotS, but I was listening differently then.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_b...


message 11: by Lily (last edited Nov 02, 2014 01:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments This, from the Wiki entry for KotS, is a little intimidating. I have not read the works suggested as preceding KotS. ;-(

"In an interview posted on his English language website, Murakami says that the secret to understanding the novel lies in reading it several times: ' Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren't any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It's hard to explain, but that's the kind of novel I set out to write.'[11]

"Many fans of Haruki Murakami have come to agree Kafka on the Shore is better understood after reading Murakami's earlier works, especially Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Some long-time fans consider Kafka on the Shore to be a spiritual sequel to both Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World as well as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle."

Has spoilers, but also a decent character list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafka_on...


Edgarf | 44 comments Right now I am not trying to do a lot of analysis. I'm just going along for the ride. I nominated KOTS because I heard raves about Murakami's writing on the internet. I bought the novel before it was voted as the open selection. I was going in the hospital for spinal surgery on Oct 6th and KTOS was also my pick for the book to read while in the hospital. As a result the first few chapters I read I was still pressing my magic morphine button. The next 50 or so pages I was still getting dilaudid shots every couple hours. As a result there a few sections in the book I may have dreamed. There were more than a few times while I thought I was reading I became aware the book was not in my hands but sitting on my food tray. I am home now and reading with a much clearer head. I still have almost 200 pages to go but I have found a book a can read with a childlike wonder. I am sure I will be reading this novel again along with other works by Murakami.


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Boy, reading Murakami in a morphine haze adds a whole other layer to the "what is reality" question :-)

Hope all is well with your post-surgery recovery!


message 14: by Lily (last edited Nov 02, 2014 06:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Edgarf wrote: "Right now I am not trying to do a lot of analysis. I'm just going along for the ride. I nominated KOTS because I heard raves about Murakami's writing on the internet. I bought the novel before i..."

What an introduction to Murakami! Like Whitney, hope your recovery is proceeding well. Thanks for sharing your story.


Edgarf | 44 comments To Whitney and Lily,
Going off topic for one post, my recovery is going great and my surgery was a complete success. My doctor even removed those pesky staples from my back last Tuesday.


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Excellent!


message 17: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Wonderful!


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Good for you!

And Murakami tends to be dreamlike even without opioids or other drugs.


message 19: by Marc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 2631 comments Mod
Lily: I looked up those same markers (1945) since I wanted to know whether the Rice Bowl Incident happened before/during/after the atomic bombs were dropped (the military reports in the book list the children's group amnesia as 1944). Kafka would have left home some 40+ years after that (assuming he and Nakata exist in the same time period).

At first I thought Crow was another character, but he's more like an alter-ego or subconscious that talks to Kafka and gives him answers/support. Sometimes he actually seems to have regular dialogue and sometimes he seems to be the source of the bold-faced text that usually involves some sort of nature-inspired vision. Anybody make better sense of this?


Edgarf | 44 comments Marc wrote: "Lily: I looked up those same markers (1945) since I wanted to know whether the Rice Bowl Incident happened before/during/after the atomic bombs were dropped (the military reports in the book list t..."

I've also wondered if it is Crow when from time to time the narrative goes into second person point of view.


message 21: by Marc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 2631 comments Mod
Edgarf wrote: "I've also wondered if it is Crow when from time to time the narrative goes into second person point of view..."

Crow's role seems to diminish as the story goes (at least, the first 20 chapters)...


message 22: by Lily (last edited Nov 06, 2014 03:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Marc wrote: "At first I thought Crow was another character, but he's more like an alter-ego or subconscious that talks to Kafka and gives him answers/support. Sometimes he actually seems to have regular dialogue and sometimes he seems to be the source of the bold-faced text that usually involves some sort of nature-inspired vision. Anybody make better sense of this? ..."

Marc -- as far as dates go, it is reassuring that another mind asked similar questions! ;-0 Thanks for supplying "1944" for the incident. I am listening, so it is harder to retrieve some of those details.

Wiki has this interesting comment about Crow:

"He [Kafka] occasionally interacts with a hectoring, exhortative alter ego 'The boy named Crow' ('Kafka' sounds like 'kavka', which means 'jackdaw', a crow-like bird, in Czech)..."


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Lily wrote: "Wiki has this interesting comment about Crow:

"He [Kafka] occasionally interacts with a hectoring, exhortative alter ego 'The boy named Crow' ('Kafka' sounds like 'kavka', which means 'jackdaw', a crow-like bird, in Czech)..."
..."


This is touching on things from later chapters.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I am very curious about Kafka ' s mother and sister. Where are they? Why doesn't Kafka even know what his sister looks like? If every girl he meets prompts a "this girl could be my sister", why doesn't he go look for them when he runs away?

I think the prophecy will be revealed, but I am not sure that the situation with his mother and sister will. This seems like a book that will leave many questions unanswered.


Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I am sure it will leave many question unanswered. There are so many things that seem to be part of a pattern, so many recurring motifs. Cats and fish. I'm beginning to wonder if baseball caps are important. They seem to get mentioned a lot.


message 26: by Edgarf (last edited Nov 07, 2014 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Edgarf | 44 comments Giorgia wrote: "I am very curious about Kafka ' s mother and sister. Where are they? Why doesn't Kafka even know what his sister looks like? If every girl he meets prompts a "this girl could be my sister", why doe..."

I am asking the same question. What is driving me nuts about this book, and I mean being driven nuts in a good way, is the way the narrative teases you. It is a literary book that is designed like a potboiler novel. As the novel goes on it leaves a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. I don't think its a spoiler to say the cliffhangers get bigger as the novel goes on.


message 27: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Finished listening to Chapter 16 - Nakata and Johnny Walker. I felt an emotional punch in the stomach and the grimace, almost writhing desire of the mind to escape, to leave the scene. I remember wondering the time I first listened whether I ever wanted to reread it. Does one ever quite recover from that chapter? Or can one treat it as just another horrible story from some war zone in our instant photography interconnected world? Or does it just bring a bit of the horror genre to literature?

Of course it matters that Murakami has had this chapter follow Kafka's reading of the life of Eichman. But how much does it matter? What do others think? Where is Murakami going here? We question the "reliability" of his narrators. What do we think of Murakami's reliability as an author and what does "reliability" mean in that context? Is Murakami in some sense deliberately unreliable so as to impact his readers and critics? Is he writing for the public or the critics? What is the significance of Johnny Walker as a metaphor? If JW is a metaphor, what does the metaphor "mean" -- i.e., to what levels and in what directions do readers take/spin/understand it?


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Lily wrote: "... Is Murakami... writing for the public or the critics? "

Lily, I really like your comment. The question "is he writing for the public or the critics" is particularly interesting to me.
I would argue that nowadays we're all critics to an extent. People don't rely on an authoritative figure to validate a product as much as they might have in the past. Goodreads is such a good example of that.
This is my first Murakami, so I don't have elements to say if he is writing to get awards but... is it worth it to write for the critics?
I'm personally more interested in peers reviews. I might read a columnist's review, I might take a look at works considered for awards ( or that get awarded) but I would sooner pick a book recommended by a friend or a goodreads user with similar tastes to mine, or even a blogger I relate to.
I think an author writes to be read. Read by as many people as possible. And not just for sales, but to get his/her story across.
When Kafka talks about Soseki's works with Oshima, they discuss the meaning of his works in relation to Kafka's own experience and how that makes reading them more meaningful. I feel like Murakami writes about things that are odd and extraordinary, but the characters are relatable. It feels to me like there are gaps in this book that the reader is invited to fill with his own feelings and experiences, making the book different for each of us ( and this is something I don't get from works such as The Miserables, where there's a pedagogic intent on the author's side).
That's also why I like books better than movies. I may not be as imaginative as the film creators, but I put a little bit of myself in the book, it becomes mine more than a film might ever be, and thus more meaningful for me.

I haven't read the section where people compare different Murakami's books because I will definitely read more and I don't want spoilers, but I'd be curious to see what people who are familiar with his work have to say about the public/critic issue.


message 29: by Lily (last edited Nov 10, 2014 03:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Giorgia wrote: "I would argue that nowadays we're all critics to an extent...."

I hope that we arm or train ourselves to be up to the responsibility. I'm not at all certain I do yet, even though I have read rather voraciously most of my life. Giorgia, have you encountered Felix yet on these boards about the role of criticism relative to the kind of discussions carried out here?


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Murakami's books are full of Murakami's own interests (food, music, 20th Japanese history, Zen, etc.). I think Murakami writes first for himself, second for his readers, and the critics, if they receive any attention at all, are a distant third.


message 31: by Marc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 2631 comments Mod
It might be more pertinent to question the nature of reality and how it's experienced then the reliability of the characters. I could easily be wrong here but Murakami doesn't tend to toy with tricky narrators so much as bend actual reality. If I come across any interesting author interviews touching upon whom he sees himself writing for, I'll pass along the links. He strikes me as a writer who writes because he's driven to do so and is well-received enough by name alone that he can write whatever he wants at this point.


message 32: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 02:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Marc wrote: "He strikes me as a writer who writes because he's driven to do so and is well-received enough by name alone that he can write whatever he wants at this point...."

That may well be true. Nonetheless, don't forget that he has been nominated for the Neustadt and is widely believed to be a Nobel contender. That's heady territory for any author. His web site is great. I hope you have visited it. It's worth it for the strutting cats alone.

Although I haven't figured it out, I am fascinated by what he may be saying about many topics, especially Japanese military history (Japanese-Chinese conflicts, WWII), gender, torture, violence, alienation, materialism, Western marketing and advertising, zen, the nature of reality,....

The spats over his translations and translators are stories in and of themselves.

Link to Johnny Walker Red images (look beyond the bottles for the advertising representations through the years):
https://www.google.com/search?q=johnn...


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

@ Lily. I haven't come across any of Felix ' s comments. I joined the group recently.


message 34: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 02:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Giorgia wrote: "@ Lily. I haven't come across any of Felix ' s comments. I joined the group recently."

And I'm not certain Felix is a member of this board. I haven't checked. But he is a reader quite vociferous about the role of criticism in underpinning literary discussions so they can go beyond the "I like" or "I feel" or "the plot is" level. Such criticism may indeed come from readers themselves, but he challenges us to play, if not wrestle, with such levels of analysis and comprehension.

It seems to me that in today's world we are so bombarded with information that we have of necessity developed incredible-speed and grab-the-top-level-of-understanding skills. My own reaction to Murakami is that he both plays to that world and yet challenges his readers to go much, much deeper, very profound. But, profound about what?

Giorgia -- let me not forget to say, welcome! IMHO, this is a good GR board!


message 35: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 02:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Why Johnny Walker Red and Colonel Sanders? Do we know? Should we know? Is it obvious to some readers? Or do we all take these rather complex figures that could be interpreted so many ways and lay on our own interpretations? Or do we use them just like we do advertising -- yes, we recognize that one and keep on moving to the next thing? Should we try to figure out a Murakami interest/intent? Or are our own metaphorical interpretations just fine? Maybe that is what Murakami was attempting to pull out of (or give?) his readers all along?


message 36: by Marc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 2631 comments Mod
Lily wrote: "Why Johnny Walker Red and Colonel Sanders? ..."
I haven't really come up with answers to these questions and I've still got about 70 pgs to go, but if we limit this discussion to the first 20 chapters (really, just to chapter 16)--it got me thinking that I'm ignoring a huge cultural piece: Shinto (ritualistic religion in Japan said to tie Japan's history together with its past). In a sense Johnnie Walker is essentially an empty capitalist icon eating the heart of the kami (if the cats represent such a thing in this chapter). He could also stand for vice/addiction as a desperate attempt to reconnect us to the spirit/natural world. Just kind of thinking aloud here.

The world of book prizes and awards is a foreign one to me, and I admittedly hold some naive beliefs that the best books are those written true to their tale and any attempt to write for fame/awards is destined to fail (in terms of being a good book, not in terms of making money or receiving attention). I look forward to delving into more about Murakami himself and the controversies when I'm done this book.


message 37: by Lacewing (last edited Nov 11, 2014 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lacewing Found on wikipedia: "The Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball league has developed an urban legend of the "Curse of the Colonel". A statue of Colonel Sanders was thrown into a river and lost during a 1985 fan celebration, and (according to the legend) the "curse" has caused Japan's Hanshin Tigers to perform poorly since the incident.[40]"

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_...

Google "Japan Johnny Walker" led to Joni Waka, a famous figure in the art world.


Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Marc, thanks for the link to Shinto. I hadn't really focused on the significance of the Shinto shrine in some of the events that happen. There is a thread open now for the "whole book," and I'm trying to organize my thoughts to post over there. I think "special places" or "sacred places" is an important piece of the puzzle.


Lacewing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-le... is another Shinto symbol, Marc.


message 40: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 09:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Marc wrote: "Lily wrote: "Why Johnny Walker Red and Colonel Sanders? ..." I haven't really come up with answers to these questions and I've still got about 70 pgs to go, but if we limit this discussion to the f..."

I apologize for the Colonel Sanders reference, but I doubt what I wrote is truly a spoiler. (Is he in these first chapters -- I am doing a relistening, so not easy to double check, even tho I do have a paper copy.) But Johnny Walker is definitely in these first 20 chapters. Thanks for sharing your thinking out loud, Marc. I didn't know the kami piece, but Johnnie Walker is certainly a strutting character. (My mind noted that JW & CS are both characters out of the American South, subtle reminders out of America's own struggles with -- dare one label it so -- evil. The JW figure does bear some resemblance to a lawn jockey. That the JW saga followed Kafka's reading selection in the cabin seemed obvious authorial structural choice -- whether it was or not.)

In a sense Johnnie Walker is essentially an empty capitalist icon eating the heart of the kami (if the cats represent such a thing in this chapter). He could also stand for vice/addiction as a desperate attempt to reconnect us to the spirit/natural world. Just kind of thinking aloud here. - Marc @36


message 41: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Was reading this morning some of the other KotS comments here on Goodreads. One woman's indignant reaction to Chapter 19 (the belligerent women at the library) reminded me that I must be getting mellow as I age. I listened to that section this morning and found it humorous, despite the recent furor over Wikipedia treatment of female authors that it almost foretells. But, then maybe I have been influenced by some of Murakami's later writings, like 1Q84.


message 42: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments http://query.nytimes.com/search/sites...

Laura Miller's 2005 review: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/boo...

Here are some Kafka on the Shore related links from NYT. Subscription may be needed to reach some of these.

All are likely spoiler risk. Although I don't think Miller spoils the story, she does include an anecdote or two; but I found her helpful in thinking about the novel and Murakami.

"The story, of course, is a very old tale in contemporary trappings. Can Kafka escape the legacy of violence he has inherited from his father, the DNA he equates with fate? The question has resonance for Murakami, who is keenly interested in his country's role in World War II and who has described himself as profoundly transformed by a nonfiction book he wrote about survivors of the Aum Shinrikyo cult's poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995..."

If others find pieces of particular value, I hope they will call them up for us. I'm not going to try to weed through them all. Don't really have the time to spend that way.


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
I realize Colonel Sanders probably appeared after these chapters, but since the discussion is happening here, I'll add what are fairly non-spoilerish comments.

Marc wrote: "Lily wrote: "Why Johnny Walker Red and Colonel Sanders? ..."
In a sense Johnnie Walker is essentially an empty capitalist icon eating the heart of the kami (if the cats represent such a thing in this chapter). He could also stand for vice/addiction as a desperate attempt to reconnect us to the spirit/natural world...."


I came to a similar conclusion, but see the intent differently. Colonel Sanders says to Hoshino "..neither god nor Buddha am I, rather an insensate being whose heart thus differs from that of man." He's also appearing at a Shinto shrine, and Murakami has said he considers figures like these universal as opposed to specifically Western. I think that Murakami is presenting these figures as the modern-day Kami, essentially the household spirits of our age; or at least the form the spirits take, since Colonel Sanders chose to appear to Hoshino that way.

In the above, the Colonel is quoting the Spirit of Gold who appears to a wealth loving Samurai in Akinari's "Tales of Moonlight and Rain". At first I thought this might have been a bit of a slam at capitalism replacing traditional values, but the story is much more measured in what it says; essentially all things in balance. Wealth used ethically is as virtuous as any other endeavor. I agree with Giorgia's comment about Murakami not writing with any pedagogic intent.


message 44: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Whitney wrote: "...I agree with Giorgia's comment about Murakami not writing with any pedagogic intent...."

Whitney -- Certainly not in the same way as Hugo! But can we really say that about Chapter 19 with the two women? :-)


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Lily wrote: "Whitney wrote: "...I agree with Giorgia's comment about Murakami not writing with any pedagogic intent...."

Whitney -- Certainly not in the same way as Hugo! But can we really say that about Chapter 19 with the two women?..."


Okay, you got me there :-) Definitely some pointed criticism. And very annoying in the stereotypical "feminists are shrill and humorless" vein.


message 46: by Lily (last edited Nov 11, 2014 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Lacewing wrote: "Google "Japan Johnny Walker" led to Joni Waka, a famous figure in the art world...."

Like here?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/0...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community...

(No Wiki entry for Joni Waka?)


Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
About Chapter 19 with the feminists--I wonder how much of the purpose of this was to get Oshimo to reveal that she was biologically female. The women were the perfect set-up for the speech Oshimo makes to them, and the information is not the sort of thing that would come up in casual discussion or that Oshimo would otherwise have any reason to reveal.


message 48: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Casceil wrote: "About Chapter 19 with the feminists--I wonder how much of the purpose of this was to get Oshimo to reveal that she was biologically female. The women were the perfect set-up for the speech Oshimo ..."

Great point! Those multiple layers are what make Murakami as exhilarating and as challenging as Henry James, if I may be permitted a perhaps strange comparison!


message 49: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2471 comments Whitney wrote: "...And very annoying in the stereotypical 'feminists are shrill and humorless' vein...."

And on the flip side, maybe even a little preachy, even if right on, about the integrity/ambiguity of gender identity? :-o


Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Lily wrote: "And on the flip side, maybe even a little preachy, even if right on, about the integrity/ambiguity of gender identity? :-o ..."

Perhaps a little. But I see it fitting in the larger picture of fluidity of identity in general.


« previous 1
back to top