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norwegian wood; murakami

April 28, 2017 , , , , , , ,

My last “real” book on the last official day of my holidays, and my goodness. If you’re like me as a teacher, you can’t read “real” books until the holidays, when the planets align, the forces of evil are at bay, and you have working braincells. And even then, the lure of Netflix is tremendous!

But read I do, and I love, especially when I have the time and space to string thoughts and images together, be deeply affected by the words that I am reading. When I am reading and present, I cannot help but be moved.

And Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami, moved me to the very core. I bought it in a tiny little independent book store in Surry Hills when I was in Sydney last year conducting for the Gondwana Voices National Choral School. In a fit of inspiration and optimism, no doubt, as the words swam across the page on the first attempt at reading and I processed nothing.

But picking it up on a rain afternoon these holidays, pot of fragrant tea, and words were like melodies around me. The story, gossamer-thin to start with, become more opaque and strong as I continued to read. Those words resonated, with no uncertain voice, and I was moved and affected, drawn into a world I had no idea about, with a fleeting ache for Tokyo.

The words were beautiful, cutting, and affecting. It’s not an easy story to read in many ways, and yet you can read it with ease.

With sure, simple words, Murakami described a world and people in it where thoughts mattered, and there was worth to nuances. That an event could be carried for a time, and a memory could be treasured, in joy or grief.

A perceptive, quietly affecting, and mesmerising read.

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