Murakami-sensei and his wacky cups

tazakienglishThe world doesn’t really need another review of Murakami’s latest novel. Which is why I’m only going to say that I read it and really enjoyed it. I’m quite excited to go to the store tomorrow morning and look at the finished book (I read a galley that barely had a cover).

Murakami can really do no wrong. There is a recent article in the Salon saying that he can even do things that are expressly forbidden in creative writing courses and still be awesome. What this basically means is Murakami has reached that particular sensei-level where he can do whatever the fuck he wants. It’s like pottery masters who at some point in their careers start creating these wacky pieces, cups bent all out of shape, vases that can’t really stand up. This is why he can produce ridiculous three-volume (in Japanese, anyway) books like 1Q84 to great hype and critical acclaim (though to be honest, I do not really remember what kind of acclaim accompanied 1Q84).

tazakijapaneseIncidentally, 1Q84 is still sitting on my shelf largely unread. Maybe I’m a Murakami minimalist. Maybe my favorites are his smaller, less weird creations. Which is why Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki worked so well for me. Its rather hard to describe what this book felt like. Aesthetically, it was very… Japanese. Kawabata-esque, even. It felt almost un-Murakami-like, but then again, Murakami is one of those writers you can’t pigeon-hole. It’s wacky cups one day, classical vases the next. It takes a true master to make both beautiful.

I leave you with Patti Smith’s review, which really sums it all up quite nicely.

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