Haruki Murakami fans discussion

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Kafka on the Shore @ Steppenwolf

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10 comments So there were some posts about the production of Kafka on the Shore on a different thread. I was just wondering if any of you had a chance to check this out. I saw it this past weekend and just got back from Chicago yesterday. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions..


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Well I finally saw it, and I have to say that I was profoundly disappointed. I went on Halloween, and the crowd on whole seemed to be pretty disinterested (eg. the two couples sitting in front of my friend and I kept commenting on how bad it was, and a man sitting just to our right began snoring at one point). In general, the vibe in the room was pretty bad and that may have negatively impacted my experience, but I was still disappointed. The story seemed extra-lean, and we all know that you can never include everything from the book - esp. a book such as Kafka - in a public performance; but they really took out some integral parts of the story. I also felt that the characters of Oshima and Miss Saeki were grossly miscast. The former came across almost campy (and the gender issue was never addressed) and the latter was played as voluptuous stroke victim. Did anyone else see it? Am I being too harsh? I really wanted to like it. But I just couldn't.


message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim (ktran29) | 5 comments I think the biggest issue that I had with the production was the title character himself. I thought the actor did a terrible job of portraying Kafka, which became very distracting. However, the adaptation of the novel into the stage made the play much more approachable. I feel as if Frank Galati had to have recognized how difficult it would be to include every nuance of the story so it was a wise choice to enhance a few themes and narrow the focus. Even with a narrowed scope of the play, the discussion afterwards made it very clear that there were many interpretations and understandings that unfolded from watching the play. I really liked seeing how Murakami translates to the stage.


message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark | 7 comments After seeing what other people have written about this production (and after talking to some people) I've come to the realization that such a project is simply impossible to pull off. It seems that everyone who sees it has a different problem with it and different things that they like about it (I, for one, enjoyed the use of Crow, but one person I talked to thought that the character was overly pedantic). I think that the stage production is impossible because of the metaphysical nature of the book. For every character and theme in this work, Murakami gives readers an abundance of elements that fit into a somewhat indeterminate big picture. Each person can cognize these differently when reading, but a stage production has to organize them somewhat more concretely. The result is that the delimitations of the theatrical performance will ultimately clash with almost everyone's reading of the novel. I wonder if it could be better portrayed in something like dance or music.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim (ktran29) | 5 comments Mark wrote: "After seeing what other people have written about this production (and after talking to some people) I've come to the realization that such a project is simply impossible to pull off. It seems tha..."

I disagree. That this performance was an adaptation implicitly acknowledges that it was not meant to offer the more blank canvas type of freedom that each individual reader has when approaching one of Murakami's works. I saw the performance as an interpretation and chose to allow that interpretation to inspire me to reach different conclusions than those I had originally and to solidify some of my prior opinions on the novel. I think the beauty of Murakami is that it is somewhat "indeterminate", so that each person can read a little of themselves into the works - but this also means to me that I can acknowledge another's understanding of it in conjunction with or opposition to my own. Is your own reading of the novel not, in a sense, your own delimitation?


message 6: by William (new)

William Graney | 29 comments Was there any talk of the production going on tour?


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