In other news I'm reading Murakami's After Dark which has a cover most gorgeous that I won't share here. It's reflective and shite and will be lost in photo-translation. I'm talking about the paperback. Get thee to a bookstore and contribute to thy local economy.
Anyway, having read a number of Murakami books and enjoyed them (despite cloying pretention) I'm left wondering at times if Japanese culture breeds such direct, soap operatic dialog. I'm assuming this is just a Murakami stilting of reality. After all, the book seems to be part Japanese ghost story, part romantic teen comedy, and part random gangland. The boy-meets-girl-light-flirting-ensues parts feel really Chungking Express in a good way.
For the descriptive prose version of such lack of any opacity, here is an excerpt from the first chapter:
Through the eyes of a high-flying night bird, we take in the scene from midair. In our broad sweep, the city looks like a single gigantic creature-or more like a single collective entity created by many intertwining organisms.I love you Murakami, but really... isn't that the dictionary definition of "city" being passed as insight? Is the translator at fault? Cultural difference?
Someone once said (sourcing quotes is for the weak) that writers were folks that come to realize something and make a big deal out of the revelation, while everyone around them tries to pretend they haven't known it their whole lives. I know I have been guilty of this more than once.