28 jun. 2006

What is this conspiracy to make poetry into a dull thing? Don't we deserve a poetry at least as interesting as a Murakami novel read in translation?

In Murakami there is this constant presence of classic Japanese literature. In Kafka on the Shore, for example, the most significant space is a library devoted to classic haiku and tanka poetry. There is also a Noh-like structure of repetitive memory, ghosts appearing from the past. (Libraries also appear significantly in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.) I'm sure if I knew more Japanese literature I would see even more connections. The Japanese elements feel like the sub-stratum, whereas the Western elements often feel like *references*, allusions to something else. Of course, that may be a distorted reading, in that I may be judging the two sets of references by different standards. It's impossible to tell. I don't even know how useful the Western vs. Japanese binary is in this case.

The Oedipal structure of Kafka is perhaps its least interesting aspect. Obviously "thematic" moments in fiction tend to embarrass me anyway. The way a novelist will set aside a paragraph to tell you what it all is supposed to mean. I would *get* it anyway, so why do I need to be told?

1 comentario:

Joseph dijo...

But it's so beautiful when Proust tells you what you already know (or what you don't need to know).