Sunday, 15 March 2015

South of the border, West of the sun by Haruki Murakami

I have been given a second book by Haruki Murakami - "Au Sud de la frontière, à l'ouest du soleil"  (French translation by Corinne Atlan) which I read in two days as I was taken through the main character's quest for an inaccessible completeness in his every contradictory inner feeling and the  melancholic moments it entailed ... a "mañana that never came" as the lyrics of South of the border echoed and Duke Ellington's star-crossed lovers sad tune.

A meditation on learning to live with one's decisions ...  one's emotional scars ... one's disappointment ... one's fear of disappointment ... one's persisting memories ... revised fantasies ... questions that  have not been answered ... questions that might never be answered ... not to go much further on such an intricate and profound issue, one that most of us may already have (somewhere along our lives) pondered on or been affected by. 
"After a certain length of time, things harden up like cement hardening in a bucket. And we can't go back anymore (..) the cement that makes you up has hardened so the you you are now cannot be anyone else."

"No matter where I go, I still end up me. What is missing never changes. The scenary may change, but I am still the same incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I think that lack in itself is as close as I'll come to defining myself."

"The sad truth is certain types of things can't go backward. Once they start going forward, no matter what you do, they can't go back the way they were."

"Time passing is one thing that can't be redone. Come this far and you can't go back."
"I didn't understand then, that I could hurt someone so badly, she would never recover. That a person can, just by living damage another being beyond repair."
"This is less a story of transcendent passion than a rather bleak look at the fear of disappointment  that inhabits most human interaction. Redemption in Murakami's hands is a matter of recognising the role you have played in disappointing others, instead of dwelling on the injustice of your own disappointment" - Janice Nimura , LA Times

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