Personal Space

Haruki Murakami and Rainy Sunday Morning

(This was originally written on August 24, 2008. )

There are three life situations which prompt me to pick up a Haruki Murakami novel and read. One is when I boil spaghetti, one is when I am on travel in a hotel room alone, and the third is when it is raining outside on a Sunday morning.

It is raining outside thanks to what’s left of ex-hurricane Fay. So I picked up Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

I read it for the first time when I was a freshman in college. Its cyberpunk-ish storyline was quite fresh and shocking at the time (although Murakami saves something far better than a mere shock for the ending chapters). Now, it reads like a familiar, recurring theme.

Murakami and his stories have evolved over the years. The evolution became especially noticeable after the big Kobe Earthquake. His post-Kobe stories are much more mature, engaged, and tangible. However, I still adore his pre-Quake novels for their youthful, ambivalent attitudes about everything. No, I don’t want to grow up, either.

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