Thursday, June 21, 2007


Oh, Haruki Murakami is good! I've never read anything by him before, but I just picked up his newest After Dark and having only read the following paragraph (the first), I've gotta' say I love it. Just as Crace's opening to The Pesthouse drew us into the life of Ferrytown effortlessly, so too does Murakami draw us upon his breath and simply blow:

Eyes mark the shape of the city.

Through the eyes of a high-flying night bird, we take in the scene from midair. In our broad sweep, the city looks like a single gigantic creature - or more like a single collective entity created by many intertwining organisms. Countless arteries stretch to the ends of its elusive body, circulating a cointinuous supply of fresh blood cells, sending out new data and collecting the old, sending out new consumables and collecting the old, sending out new contradictions and collecting the old. To the rhythm of its pulsing, all parts of the body flicker and flare up and squirm. Midnight is approaching, and while the peak of activity has passed, the basal metabolism that maintains life continues undiminished, producing the basso continuo of the city's moan, a monotonous sound that neither rises nor falls but is pregnant with foreboding.

Beautiful. The reader gets drawn into, the senses brought alive not by the stating of colour, or real movement but by simply metaphors. Murakami captures the essence of a city's dreaming life, choosing words of movement and life. When he comes to the end of the paragraph it is to listen to basal metabolisms, basso continuo's and the city's moan. Not forgetting the wonderful three line repetition that sounds and feels like slow breathing; the living of the city.

I'm going to enjoy this, and you should too...

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