I should know better than to finish reading Murakami on a Sunday night. Needless to say it was a miserable 1 - 2 hours trying to fall asleep. Seriously considering keeping a bottle of sleeping pills on standby "orz
The fruitful conclusions of that restless time is as follows:
- 3 rules of life in addition to the 3 rules of engineering:
ii. timing is everything
iii. don't take it personally
- Reading is a shortcut to wisdom (unsure about word choice)
- Travel is to recalibrate
- Stepping into a fictional world (typically via books or manga in my case) is easy in but hard out. Physically traveling somewhere is the opposite.
Not sure if this story is based-on the short story in The Elephant Vanishes that also features dancing and a Sheep Man. Those are the only two commonalities, but neither are actually that common so it's hard to believe there's no connection. However the plot bares no relation. *shurg*
If I had to find a similar story to this, it would probably be Kafka on the Shore in generally feeling, but with elements of 1Q84 thrown in. Then there are parts when he talks about advanced capitalist society that remind me a lot of Vonnegut:
Waste is the fuel of contradictions, and contradictions activates the economy, and an active economy creates more waste.Though this particular quotation also brings to mind Ergo Proxy (sigh Daedalus), specifically the scene in the mall with all the billboards saying to consume more and waste more.
On a more positive note:
Not that these efforts received any special recognition. They never got me an appreciative word. I went the extra step because, for me, it was the simplest way. Self-discipline. Giving my disused fingers and head a practical - and if at all possible, harmless - dose of overwork.Perhaps this is a fine way to live life.
Though more realistically:
The skin of my soul was no longer tender. I tried not to feel anything at all. My resignation was a silent rain falling over a vast sea.The second sentence is so damn beautiful. Beaten only by "the ephemeral splendor of another afternoon that would never return" via Love in the Time of Cholera. Kafka also has a beautiful imagery of "time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream."
I haven't thought of this too deeply yet, but loss is likely the overarching theme to all of Murakami's works. Looking back through my posts, I pretty much have at least one quotation on this subject for every of his books that I've read, and the one for this book is below:
He said he had the feeling things were disappearing on him. I don't know what kind of things he meant. But whatever they are, sometime they're going to go. We shift around, so things can't help but go when that happens. They disappear when it's time for them to disappear. And they don't disappear until it's time for them to disappear.