Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" discussion

1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
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Bits and Pieces

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

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Place links to interviews and other bits and pieces here.


message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Chip Kidd Discusses the Book Jacket for Haruki Murakami’s Forthcoming Novel 1Q84:

http://knopf.knopfdoubleday.com/2011/...


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

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Knopf Responds to NJ School District’s Withdrawal of Murakami Novel (Norwegian Wood) from Reading List

http://media-center.knopfdoubleday.co...


Joel (joelevard) i finally say a copy of this in the flesh at the bookstore today. i can't believe how crappy the dust jacket looks & feels. couldn't they have sprung for slightly more durable material?

i have the book on my kindle but was seriously contemplating a paper purchase. it doesn't really seem worth it because that cover will look like crap in a few years, no matter how carefully i treat it.

the book underneath is really nice though... still tempted...


Lori Yes the dust jacket is very flimsy but since I always take them off that doesn't bother me. I'm also finding the pages thin, but they do feel nice and smooth.


message 7: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
An interview translated from the Japanese:

http://quarterlyconversation.com/cons...

This is where I found out about it. The interview is spread across the following pages:

http://noxrpm.com/post/1292115249/har...

http://noxrpm.com/post/1299730890/mur...

http://noxrpm.com/post/1308270221/mur...


Joel (joelevard) Nice pictures Moon. It really is a beautiful book.


message 9: by Ian (last edited Oct 29, 2011 02:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
There's a story that when Neil Young first released "Harvest", he wanted the cover to be a sheaf of wheat, that would fall apart when you took out the vinyl.

His attitude was that, once you'd played the album once, you'd never want to take it off the player (so you didn't need a durable cover).


message 10: by Ian (last edited Oct 30, 2011 09:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Here is the cover of Never Let Me Go (by Jamie Keenan):

http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/6...


Stephen M | 11 comments A short article from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr...


message 12: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
There's an interesting article at Grantland:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywo...

It mentions the TV tropes, Mary Sue and Mary Stu, which are explained here:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php...


message 13: by Ian (last edited Oct 31, 2011 01:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "A short article from the Guardian"

How much is implicit in the comment that the novel is about "a man who writes a novel that changes the world"?

The whole idea of "changing the world" sounds like it might be food for thought, if not food for writing.


message 15: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
My copy was waiting for me when I got home today. It feels like some holy scripture in my hands.


message 16: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments Don't they sell dead tree books in Oz? are gout going to start reading straight away? give the others a toss? I may re listen or read mine again when my friend returns to Oz from her holiday. I feel lost. .. I can't let go of the story, there are so many stories in the story. I'm glad you finally have it :-)


message 17: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I think it was only released in Oz on November 1 and I haven't been near a bookshop since then. I didn't want to see a copy that wasn't mine!

I'll finish the Etgar Keret first. I've only got 90 pages left and it's easy to read, plus I've got a two hour plane trip tomorrow.


message 18: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments Well I envy you. I wish I was still in that world. You know how lost you can feel after reading a really good book with strong characters and stories. I find it hard to concentrate on reading in a plane. ... I think I just cent get comfie o_O
Safe flying!


message 19: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments did you get the email with life and fate?


message 20: by Aldrin (new) - added it

Aldrin (fullybooked) Here's a little something I posted, where I point out a couple of similarities between two books I'm concurrently reading, 1Q84 and Steve Jobs.


message 21: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "did you get the email with life and fate?"

Yep, thanks, I've just downloaded two, but having trouble with the others, I'll probably have to come back to them later.


message 22: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Some of you might already be familiar with Paul Bryant's parody of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I was just joking with Paul that HM had copied his parody:

"Tengo went to the kitchen, put a kettle on the boil, and ground some coffee beans. He ate a few crackers with cheese, followed those with an apple, and when the water boiled, made coffee. Drinking this from a large mug, he distracted himself with thoughts of sex with his older girlfriend. Ordinarily, he would have been doing it with her right about now. He pictured the things that he would be doing, and the things that she would be doing. He closed his eyes, turned his face toward the ceiling, and released a deep sigh heavy with suggestion and possibility." (p 68)

Sigh.

Totally Paul Bryant. (I omitted the soundtrack.)

My current theory is that 1Q84's all very "helmet cam".

He starts the camera at the beginning of the book or each character's chapter, it sees everything from that character's point of view, and he never turns it off.

Not that I don't love it.

But each chapter is a bit like a one take film.


message 23: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments very very funny I wish I had the colourful imagination that you guys have ! I just sit back and giggle at your antics !! I can barely spell let alone come up with your fast comebacks LOL

So I will be the dedicated reader giggling along the way !!


message 24: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Sounds like marriage. I perform as best I can and my wife just laughs ;)


message 25: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul (booksdofurnisharoom) The helmet cam exactly sums up how I feel about it, although I've only read 7 chapters. It reads very easily but with lots of layers.


message 26: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments He explains everything that character does during the day including how Tengo prepares his meals but it doesnt seem as tedious as Steig Larson?? Why is can he get away with this and I still re read this book?

This book is just like an old house with layers of wallpaper, just when you think you have come to the last layer you are frustrated that there is more to peel away *sigh*


message 27: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I was quite annoyed to read a review yesterday that identified who Aomame's real love was without any spoiler warning.

I had already acquired one piece of information just that day that made it obvious when I read the review.

I would really have liked to discover their identity on my own and now feel a bit cheated.

At this early stage, I feel that a large part of the "helmet cam" approach is about building the framework for and interest in later revelations.


message 28: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments Oh you had to know who her real love was ?? two people alone and come to gether hahaha you need to read more chick books
Im sorry you feel cheated. I felt cheated at the end :(


message 29: by Ian (last edited Nov 14, 2011 10:35AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Maybe I do. But what I feel cheated of is actually the romance of the realisation. Because of the structure of the novel, I hadn't yet thought of it and it hadn't got to be something predictable or something I hoped would happen.

I don't want to feel cheated at the end. Please no.

But it's different when someone outside the world of the book (i.e., not the author) cheats you with a spoiler.


message 30: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (snuzy36) | 70 comments I thought it was predictable but maybe if the author changed up the story then I would have been wrong? hehe

again sorry ....... maybe they dont end up together just a thought


message 31: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
For me, Murakami's characters don't often end up with the one they thought they loved or were in love with.

The important thing is they have the capacity for love.

The who isn't the big deal at the end of any book, even though I might grieve with them, like I grieve for my past loves from 1984 and beyond ;)


message 32: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Ushikawa was also a character in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.


Megha (hearthewindsing) He was? Could you remind me where he appears in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle?


message 34: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I'm not at home, but try these quotes and pages for guidance:

"He sneaks into Toru Okada’s house in Chapter 13 of Book 3, he makes another house call in 16, and in 19 they talk on the phone."

http://oof.cc/literature/youth-cultur...

http://underbelly-buce.blogspot.com/2...

Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle 453-4 (Jay Rubin Trans. 1997

http://howtojaponese.com/2011/09/29/u...

Note that Ushikawa is supposed to be alive in October, 1985.


message 35: by Ian (last edited Dec 13, 2011 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
In the Sydney Morning Herald on December 10, there is an interview with 83 year old Australian painter John Olsen.

"He's still Peter Pan, too, maintaining his boyish sense of curiosity and wonderment, always seeking 'the juice in life'. It's what he calls 'the aaah-ness of life' - open your eyes and see exhilarating things, like 'Aaah, the moon looks like creme brulee."

To which I would only add: "Aaah, the moons look like creme brulee."


Gerald Camp (gerryc) | 4 comments I finished the book a couple of days ago and, while in general I enjoyed it, several things really annoyed me. One is that Tengo's older girlfriend, even though she is given a name, is nearly always referred to as Tengo's older girlfriend. Second is that the dowager, even though she is given a name, is nearly always referred to as the dowager. The worst, however, is the Little People's brilliant comment on everything: "Ho Ho." I guess they're related to Santa!


message 37: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I always called her OGF.


Gerald Camp (gerryc) | 4 comments I wonder what Tengo called her.


message 39: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike (absitnomen) | 4 comments @ Gerald

RE: the older girlfriend: I think that calling her as the older girlfriend underscored the shallow nature of the relationship she and Tengo had. She really didn't have an identity for Tengo beyond the older girlfriend.

As for the Little People, I read their repetitive "ho hos" that kept the beat as some sort of cosmic time marker, like their are pushing the story forward with their various activities; that's why the phrase Ho Ho came back at other points of the book where significant events were taking place.


message 40: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I thought of "ho ho" as like Kurt Vonnegut's "so it goes" in "Slaughterhouse-Five" and Nicole Krauss' "and yet..." in "The History of Love".


Whitney | 18 comments I think Mike's interpretation about the older girlfriend is right. Both Tengo and Aomame engage in loveless realtionships (aside from each other), and 'older married girlfriend' is the way Tengo himself thinks of her. The first time we see her actual name is when her husband makes his ominous phone call, and Tengo himself initially has trouble placing the name. After the call, he does start thinking of her as Kyoko Yasuda instead of OGF.

I suspect the 'Dowager' reference is something of a translation issue, and that the Japanese term is probably a common and respectful honorific for an elderly widow of means or authority, such as the 'Dowager Empress'.


message 42: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
All good points, though ultimately it's an authorial decision as to when to name a character or even the narrator in a first person novel.

So I don't know whether it was Murakami or Tengo who withheld her name for so long.


Whitney | 18 comments Ian wrote: "All good points, though ultimately it's an authorial decision as to when to name a character or even the narrator in a first person novel.

So I don't know whether it was Murakami or Tengo who with..."


Not sure I follow your argumanent, Ian, it seems like a distinction without a difference. In the chapters that follow Tengo in the third person, Murakami is essentially expressing Tengo's thoughts on things, so his way of referring to people is how Tengo thinks of them. When Tengo starts thinking of Kyoko by name, Murakami starts calling her by name, even writing "Kyoko Yasuda (as Tengo was now calling her in his mind)" soon after the pnone call. Have you found any counter-examples to this - i.e. Murakami expressing something that is outside of the experience or opinion of the charactors in their respective chapters?


message 44: by Ian (last edited Dec 18, 2011 01:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
My uncertainty arises from my uncertainty as to whether and how much the novel is written by Tengo in the third person.

If it is not, then Murakami could have named any character whenever he chose to.


Whitney | 18 comments Yes - I forgot your written by Tengo theory, which would change the interpretation. I still act on the assumption it isn't, so hold to my point that Murakami would choose to name a character in the manner whichever person he was currently following was thinking about that character.

Your 'Tengo as author' theory makes my head spin when I try and get a grip on it. It opens up a whole new level of questions regarding what is real and what is invented, as well as endless questions regarding Tengo's psychology. I think there's an entire Master's Degree thesis in the possibilities.


message 46: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
It's only an hypothesis at this stage, and it needs some serious brain power dedicated to it, not just mine.

Maybe we could start up an Order of the Masters of the Murakami Wonderland.

The hypothesis cheats us readers of our happy ending in Murakami's novel, although presumably we do get our happy ending within Tengo's fiction world.

Outside the world of fiction, the message might be that we should act on our impulses, at least in the realm of love.

When it comes to love, we should never let a chance go by.

Here, two people let a chance go by and regretted it for 20 years.

In Tengo's case, it resulted in a pleasant, but spiritually unfulfilling, relationship with OGF.

In Aomame's case, the absence of real love resulted in her becoming a vigilante assassin.

Mind you, I can't imagine her as a housewife and mother in 1984 onwards.

I suppose this might be the time to ask again whether anybody thinks there is any prospect of a fourth book to address all of these issues (including the Little People).


message 47: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
On Little People:

There was a time when I was wondering whether the Little People were a personification of the Collective Unconscious.

Only they were a polymorphous (polymorphic?) personification, rather than a monomorphous (monomorphic?) personification.

In other words, they were a collective of opponents of (or rivals to) a monotheistic God or Super-Ego or Big Brother.

Unlike monotheism, they also had a sense of humour. Ho ho. ;)

I didn't pursue any of this, when I started to feel that the Little People were bad guys and the cult members were just as much victim of the Little People as the inhabitants of Orwell's "1984" were victims of Big Brother.

I guess I am asking the Masters to explore the links back to Orwell as well.

I don't think the relationship with Orwell is just superficial.


Gerald Camp (gerryc) | 4 comments This is ridiculous. Nobody thinks of someone he is having sex with on a weekly basis as "Older Married Girlfriend." I mean I even know my neighbors by name, not "Older Female Nextdoor." Is there any evidence that Tengo (a fictional character) is the writer of this novel with the name of Murakami (a real Japanese author) on the cover?

And what's this "let a chance go by"? They were ten years old and their actions were controlled by their parents. Should they have walked off hand-in-hand into the sunset and gotten married? Ho Ho.

If there is a fourth book about the Little People I will switch back to Ishiguro.


message 49: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
I have added a few topics to the discussion group, so that these ridiculous suggestions don't get lost in "Bits and Pieces".

If you can be bothered reposting paras 2 and 3, I'll respond to them on the dedicated topics, just to get the topic off and running.

We might as well leave OGF here.


message 50: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 191 comments Mod
Gerald wrote: "This is ridiculous. Nobody thinks of someone he is having sex with on a weekly basis as "Older Married Girlfriend." I mean I even know my neighbors by name, not "Older Female Nextdoor."

I have numerous ex-lovers who I remember only as "Girl Next Door", "German Girl", "Pseudo-Intellectual" and "Big Tits 2".

Is there any evidence that Tengo (a fictional character) is the writer of this novel with the name of Murakami (a real Japanese author) on the cover?

Oh, ye of little faith!

Show me your wounds. Perform a miracle for me.

I don't expect my metafiction to reveal all within the scope of the fiction or the covers.


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