Murakami On Friendship

March 16, 2015 1:26 PM

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Murakami On Friendship

March 1, 2015 — It might be fair to say that Haruki Murakami has had two narrative modes in his novels and short stories. Works like Norwegian Wood (1987) illustrate his “normal” mode, in which he recounts a nostalgic, affecting tale of relationship and loss. In his “weird” mode -- weird in the eerie, old-fashioned sense -- he gives us talking animals and dream states. This mode is at work in his sprawling novel 1Q84, where we even get a small, lopsided extra moon that shows up in the night sky, and tiny megalomaniac people walking out of a goat’s mouth as the world slips into a different dimension.

If there is nothing very weird in Murakami’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, this may be because Murakami didn’t need to go into his uncanny toolbox for this quiet fable, which is ultimately about friendship. With its short, simple narrative, Colorless Tsukuru Taz...

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