Mark Darling comments

Posted in: Author Murakami talks music, running, novels on radio show See in context

Nadege,

My comments to you are not meant to be rude, please bear with me.

It sounds like you are making too many assumptions. If you don't have the patience to read more than two pages of his work, you probably don't have the patience to understand another human's soul. There is an arrogance to your belief that because you don't like his writing after two pages, it is clearly the author's fault instead of your own for not seeing what so many others around the world have seen in his works. If you only read this first part of what I have written, you might find me rude, but please read ALL that I've written below to understand a little more clearly.

I am currently reading Murakami's The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and am very disappointed that I can't read it in the original Japanese.

When I started reading Rimbaud, I didn't like his rhythm or style. The words didn't create the images or feelings I had heard about. I wondered how he could be so popular in France, and the world. I kept buying new and different translations and found them all to be very different. I began studying French and one of the many reasons I had in doing so was to read his work in the language it was written in. When I was finally able to read it in French, it was better but I still suspected something was missing. I had not grown up in French culture. My point here is that I didn't assume Rimbaud was an awful poet, I assumed I didn't understand fully what he was trying to express, and learned far more in the process.

Reading your post, I wonder if you read Murakami's two pages in English, French, or if you read it in Japanese, the language it was written in. If you are trying to understand someone from two pages, you are making it very difficult on yourself. I also wonder if you thought about the importance of understanding culture and the differences in the way culture can influence your reaction to specific words and images. I don't mean to say that writing is not meant to cross those barriers, Murakami is loved around the world. While this might not matter in understanding the main ideas, and some love him for that alone, there is certainly a barrier to understanding the author on a more intimate level as you have said. I'm not sure this is even possible to do from reading a work. However I do believe it is important when trying to understand someone's soul. Sometimes people live their whole lives and don't even fully understand themselves.

It is possible that I am misunderstanding you. I can't understand the second to last line of your comment, but I would never proclaim to understand your soul from that piece of writing. I would also never judge you based on your words alone. I am sure you have a beautiful soul, as everyone does.

I have found that when your heart is open, you will enjoy everything and not complain as much. I hope you can find beauty in everything around you and not fall into a cynical trap. A wise person learns in a positive way from everything around them, the 'good' and the 'bad.'

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