Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Lackadaisical Lady

The last week has been one of reading paralysis. Like the inevitable dilemma of the ice-cream store, I have the problem of Too Much Choice. The days are dissolving as the university semester fast approaches. The lovely blogger Bybee has sent me a Korean delight, The Other Side of Dark Remembrance by Lee Kyun-Young. I look forward to dipping into the ‘mundane yet confused life of a metropolitan salaried man.’ I also *have* to read McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses because someone gave it to me in my philosophy class last semester. And my bookish expectations tell me that I’ll be galloping through the rest of the Border trilogy after reading the first offering.

I’m reading Jay Rubin’s biography of Murakami entitled Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. The title notes the musical metaphors that infuse Murakami’s works. Having a keen interest in music, Murakami managed a jazz bar, where he indulged his penchant for Western literature, reading voraciously when he could. The biography captures the banality of Murakami’s career changing moment of epiphany. Beer-in-hand at a baseball game, the sun shining down, he decided he could write a novel at the age of 29. Murakami’s upbeat novels reflect the tempo of modernity. Indeed Murakami’s plots have fluidity, taking different courses of action, in rifts and fugues of improvised drama. Murakami actively disliked Yukio Mishima (p15). It’s interesting that although Murakami highlights his desire to avoid the Japanese condition, his novels have nuances and ideas that aren’t inherent in Western literature. Notably in Norwegian Wood, there seems to be a consciousness of a debt for happiness, and the sense of death as a live and pervasive presence.

In regards to my reading regime, I need a solid plan of attack. The three books I’ve just mentioned I will knock down. I also hope to review Mishima’s Spring Snow, which I finished recently. Has anyone else read this gorgeous book, or the others in the Sea of Fertility tetralogy? Tomorrow, I’ll head into uni to check out the course book offerings. One of my units is Victorian Literature, which will inevitably feature chunksters. I’m doing another course on nature and writing, which looks intriguing. Looks like a fun semester!


jess said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of All the Pretty Horses- I seem to be one of the few people in the world who didn't like it, despite it be recommended by very reliable sources.

acquisitionist said...

jess, I'm reading it at the moment and I love it so far. I'll let you know more when I'm done.