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『一人称単数』📚by 村上春樹








I’ve just read the latest work of Murakami Haruki. It is a collection of 8 short stories entitled “First-person Singular” (my translation). First of all, I found the title intriguing partly because it is catchy as a book title and at the same time it reminded me of “I” novels, from which he seemed to have tried to keep distance deliberately.

Each story unfolds around its core motif which Murakami has been cherishing, such as the Beatles, Charlie Parker, and Yakult Swallows. The protagonists are young from 18-35 as usual. You can find his recurrent themes all over the stories. The attention-grabbing characters are Shinagawa Monkey who speaks Japanese and falls in love with humans and “the ugliest woman”. His sentences are well-crafted and his distinctive voice and plot twists make the stories page-turners.

Having read the latest work of his, I realized again he is a real craftsman. He has crafted his words and stories over the past 40 years, which is simply superb. He is adept at depicting the feelings when people had when they were in their “young and more vulnerable years”.

I am still a Murakami freak (Harukist).

Reading this book reminds me of a passage of George Orwell’s essay “Such, Such Were the Joys”.

“It can also happen that one’s memories grow sharper after a long lapse of time, because one is looking at the past with fresh eyes and can isolate and, as it were, notice facts which previously existed undifferentiated among a mass of others”

Like Orwell, Murakami is an expert of isolating and noticing facts which previously existed undifferentiated. That is probably one of the important attributes of great authors.


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