Thursday, June 14, 2012


Murakami's 1Q84 has probably been debated to death a million times over. But that won't stop me, surely! It's a complete puzzle, of course, two journeys that start miles apart, with no obvious connections, and slowly become intimately intertwined, with lots of detailed side stories and descriptions that add to its richness along the way.

And there is the whole 1984 thing too, half of which is most likely lost on me. Maybe I should watch the movie again? I read the book, but it's such a long time ago, when I was in college. And I probably didn't get half of it anyway.

I loved the whole feel about the second moon - it reminded me of the movie Another Earth. There is this eerie tense calm and sense of mystery that seems to emanate from this new celestial body.

Bottom line for me, though, is: 1Q84 is a love story. For the first three hundred pages or so, it doesn't look much like a love story, I'll admit, but that's what it is. Apparently, I'm not the first person to have figured that one out. But I didn't know that when I started reading, so I'll take full credit for this earth-shattering discovery!

It's a big book - 624 pages for Books 1 and 2, which I've just finished, but really satisfying in its complexity and in the heart and soul of its main protagonists.

I can't wait to start Book 3! Its English translation is by another translator, though, which is strange. Why change translator two thirds through a story? Maybe he wanted a different feel for the third chapter? Or maybe the original guy wasn't available? Or wanted more money? Who knows? Which brings me on to a question I have - the characters eat in cafés or cook their own food, but it's often Western food, an omelette or a croissant with a cup of coffee, for instance. I just wonder if this is in the original Japanese text or did the translators adapt the food to make it more universal, less quirkily Japanese? Is it a case that the youth in Japan eat very similar food to ours, and did so already in 1984?

PS: here is another link to a Murakami website - the first one doesn't seem to have any references to 1Q84 - maybe it hasn't been updated recently? This one is visually interesting, if nothing else!

Well, the official website is probably this one from Random House. Very fancy, with music and all. This is really the one to go through for all you want to find out. I have glimpsed over the Translation section, but I haven't found answers to my questions yet - but I'm only on page 2 of the Translators' Roundtable!

Another question I have after looking at the website- is Murakami a cat lover? He wouldn't appear to be from reading the book, but the website imagery seems to imply otherwise. I bet he is!

No comments:

Post a Comment