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Woebot
03-01-2005, 08:51 PM
What's he like?

sufi
03-01-2005, 09:22 PM
some wild specimins, captured on fone in company of rewch:

http://brikistan.org/Image153.jpg http://brikistan.org/Image155.jpg http://brikistan.org/Image154.jpg

sufi
03-01-2005, 09:27 PM
available here (http://secure.giantrobot.com/products.php?code=MKMIFIG)

Woebot
03-01-2005, 09:31 PM
sufi, these are lovely....god bless you....

....however i was meaning murakami the novellist.

sufi
03-01-2005, 10:17 PM
o dat 1!
my sis lent me the windup bird chronicles this summer in bc
unremittingly wierd :D

francesco
03-01-2005, 10:28 PM
Ryu Murakami or Huraki Murakami?

The first, writer of the hallucinogenic, drugs and sexs and void fuelled, unexusable exploitative "almost trasparent blue" is my favorite. This novel , written by the very young (at the time, 1976) Ryu, selled in Japan millions of copies. To me is the Ultimate in Rock distopia, scorching the void beyond loud music fast sex and stoned mind, actually lusting death (jim morrison is often mentioned). Read it 10 years ago but still burning my mind. Maybe now that Rock is not anymore that huge (has ever been as huge as in Japan i wonder?) and youth doing sex and drugs is no scandal anymore the book has lost something in shock impact, but the sense of the void, the nothing, of lives empty is still there.

Huraki I liked "Norvegian Wood" the best, recommended, very good book, but i must say he is not one of my favorite writers even if i admit he his very gifted, so better i left to someone else to descrive the book to others.

ciao da francesco

jenks
04-01-2005, 07:29 AM
I've read maybe half a dozen of his novels and would have to say he is a very readable writer - the pages turn even on a 400 page novel. he works in the same way auster works in that he brings many 'difficult' aspects of (post)modernity into the form effortlessly (or seemingly so). also, like auster he does loneliness very well and what it is like to live in the bright city in isloation. all his narrators are searching something they have lost (a friend, an old lover, usually somebody more unconventional than themselves). he is also slightly frustrating in the sense that there is often a feeling of 'so-whatness' at the end of the novel as things remain unresolved or just confused (again, an annoying trait in auster). finally it is interesting to note that he has translated f. scott. fitzgerald into japanese and that is pertinent because in many ways he is a po-mo fitz and that is no bad thing in my eyes. :D
hope this is of some use

xero
04-01-2005, 07:51 AM
presuming it's haruki, I read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ages ago and liked it but can't remember it in much detail. Then I read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle around the time it came out in paperback and was absolutely fucking blown away by it. Since then I've caught up with norwegian wood, wild sheep chase and most recently sputnik sweetheart but imho none of these quite measure up to the 'bird chronicle. Yes they are subtler, sweeter books (apart from sheep chase maybe) but I found norwegian wood particularly a bit whimsical. The auster comparison is good - often the writing is very straightforward, almost banal but very compelling but it's a different brand of surrealism from his.

Melmoth
04-01-2005, 09:32 AM
He initially seemed to me an aimless, lightweight writer, interested only in the surface of things; and the prose is radically affectless, bleached like driftwood. Many of the older generation of Japanese writers are very hard on him, the great Kenzeburo Oe, for example, sees him and Banana Yoshimoto as the truimph of marketing over content, teen pop culture rather than literature.... At the same time the very blankness of the novels, their amoral core, coupled with their surrealism and touches of folk narrative are very evocative of contemporary Japan. I think the Auster parallel is apt in that I'm not totally sure if either of them are any cop.

I do unreservedly recommend Oe though, especially his 'Rouse up all you Young Men', which is in large part about Blake, and which you can get in the Soho bookshop for 3 of your Earth pounds.

Loki
05-01-2005, 05:09 PM
i'd agree withm Jenks...he is very much like Auster in the way that his books are very light and yet somehow you constantly feel the themes he's exploring run much deeper... (and if this is just a clever illusion then it's an illusion I'm sure him and Auster would appreciate)

I'd recommend almost everything I've read by him; they all seem to exist in a kind of hinterland, like a less spooky Ring trilogy or a non-horror Ligotti (though the prose is 10X cleaner); everything is approached in the same, slightly off centre, dreamlike (and this is a much overused phrase but very appropriate in this case) way; they inhabit the same kind of world as Paul Delvaux paintings, whether he's describing a lost friend, a forgotten lover or a possessed sheep.

The kind of books that work well on long train journeys... you can feel cleverer and not have to make any effort at all...

I'm interested in the other Murakami though...

sufi
07-01-2005, 12:39 AM
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/ukiyo-e/images/8692s-th.jpg http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/ukiyo-e/images/8691s-th.jpg http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/ukiyo-e/images/8690s-th.jpg http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/ukiyo-e/images/8689s-th.jpg

sufi
07-01-2005, 01:08 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/collective/dnaimages/021114/murakami1.jpg http://www.vgallery.co.za/img/backbeard2.jpg http://www.bbc.co.uk/collective/dnaimages/021114/murakami2.jpg

http://www.kaikaikiki.co.jp/

rewch may tell you more....

sufi
07-01-2005, 01:15 AM
...(as this is literature section afterall); i enjoyed TWUBC, the writing was easy (is it translated?), it was enjoyably pop & sensuous, and took a long time not getting anywhere while you think the plot is maybe doing significant things that you are'nt picking up, but it's not. & so you feel like yr in suspense waiting for something to happen all the time
i liked the bottom of the well bit a lot, and also enjoyed the whole shamanic flashback saga
perhaps easier to visualise after the ring...

polystyle desu
07-01-2005, 03:03 AM
Ryu's the man
Almost Transparent Blue , i hear you francesco .
A strange mood in that book , out by fence next to the airfield ...
Was reading that book when was it , in like the early '80's
1980 - '82 the hyped up pills drink sex drugs desolation scenes seeped into lyrics our group was doing

Well then what about Hashi , the famous rocker born just off the Tokyo train in Coin Locker Babies ?
'Bladerunner meets JD Salinger in a surreal coming - of - age tale'
There are some shocking sucking and human void present in that book .
It took awhile but thankfully English translation did finally come out in 1990's,
through Kodansha .

Ryu also wrote the movie "Tokyo Decadance" which some of you may remember, not least for it's lurid poster.
Ryu's was host of his own TV show , still guests often for his black acid comments on Japanese society ,
muck raking , pricking sharp pins and bigger objects into a range of targets

LRJP!
13-01-2005, 09:47 PM
I’ve read quite a few of Haruki Murakami's books and like minusone i was blown away by The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. The others that really stick in my mind are Norwegian Wood, After The Quake, The Elephant Vanishes and Sputnik Sweetheart (a title I love for what it’s worth…). One of my favourite aspects of his stories is the dazzling and super-assertive passivity of his narrators: They just never seem to want to do anything, like an unemployed Philip Marlowe lucid under heavy sedation or something…

I’m not totally in agreement with the Auster comparisons, mainly because he just does my head in; so ‘clever’ and blankly post-profound. Someone I lived with a few years ago recommended the New York Trilogy which is the last book I decided to not finish – it felt like reading the appendix to Post-Modernism for Beginners with every fifth page ripped out. Murakami seems less hall of narrative mirrors, and more dreamlike/surreal to me.

I just went and checked and I think I’ve read pretty much everything of Murakami’s in print except After The Quake (the only one I haven’t found in the library or on the cheap) anybody read that one?

jenks
14-01-2005, 06:57 AM
after the quake - collection of slim short stories, i found them a bit too slim, as part of what i enjoy about murakami is the leisure of length, that sit back, plotty-ness unravelling that needs a good few hundred pages - wild sheep chase for example.
also in terms of 'so-whatness' there seems to be a bit of a convention developing in this genre for some sloppy writing to go under this banner in the name of the unresolved/ unresolvable that can leave a reader feeling deeply unsatisfied - don't get me wrong, good unresolved i.e. david foster wallace i can really go for.

Melmoth
14-01-2005, 09:24 AM
i.e. david foster wallace i can really go for.

Now you're talking.

LRJP!
14-01-2005, 10:35 AM
duh! i didn't mean After The Quake, i meant Underground.
I really should triple check these things...

jenks
14-01-2005, 11:36 AM
melmoth - what's the new dfw collection like? am droolingly in awe of him!

Melmoth
14-01-2005, 06:14 PM
melmoth - what's the new dfw collection like? am droolingly in awe of him!

Haven't read it - not that keen on short stories but I love Infinite Jest. He 's the don of that whole generation really isn't he.

cozen
16-01-2005, 09:19 PM
the wong kar-wai of books.

Kuma
17-01-2005, 03:01 AM
I adore Murakami, when he's on.
Idiosyncratic, manic and paticularly haunting. I can see what Oe has said about him but that occurs for me in very few of his works. Dance dance dance, sheep chase and wind up bird chronicles are magic, content above crass.

But what about Oe? I'm battling my way through Somersault, something I rarely do with novels these days..

Melmoth
17-01-2005, 08:06 AM
But what about Oe? I'm battling my way through Somersault, something I rarely do with novels these days..

How is it? I heard its not his best.

DavidD
22-01-2005, 10:17 PM
I will recommend "Underground" pretty much unconditionally; it was an amazing read, and I highly recommend it; in many ways it is very much about Japanese society and the repression of history that has occurred many times over; in other ways it very specifically addresses the universal culture of outsiderness, something particularly pertinant in the United States with waco and unabomber etc.

(For those that don't know, "Underground" is about the japanese subway attacks)

I liked Norweigen Wood pretty well, but yeah, wind up bird chronicle is what turned me into an unrepentent Murakami fan. He is also, incidently, a huge music fan.