NORWEGIAN WOOD

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AUTHOR- HARUKI MURAKAMI

PUBLISHED IN- 1987

PAGES- 386

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Truth being said, I didn’t think I would be reading one of Murakami’s this soon. The last one that I had read had done a toll on me for quite a couple of months. Surprisingly, this book seemingly spared me from such thunderous torture. The story was simple and that’s exactly how it made score.

Unlike most of the books that I have read before, the plot here didn’t have any drastic changes all through it’s course. When you read this book, it feels like you are just living another life, in its slow and unimportant moments as well. Toru, the main character finds himself in a labyrinth regardless of him trying to make everyone happy around. He falls in love with Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. But when Kizuki kills himself at the age of 17, Naoko finds herself distant from reality. Nothing in her life gives her any purpose to go on to live it. Toru tries in vain to help Naoko, the girl that he has been in love forever. Naoko ends up in an asylum and finally hangs herself at the age of 21. Dealing with grief has been the main theme of the book. The phrase of “overcoming grief” doesn’t seem real to me. How can you ever overcome something like that? You deal with it. You live with it. You cannot uproot it from within yourself, that’s just surreal.

“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.”

Do they really? I have had terrible experiences of it. It is a different level of suffering when you want a person to open up badly to you but the said person doesn’t even bulge. That feeling is beyond torture because you’re absolutely hapless. You cannot force someone out of their minds and that’s the best part of being a human.

“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment. ”

I relate to this quote on a personal level. I have no desire in expanding my friend circle. The entire process of making friends and then carrying the responsibility of maintaining that friendship is exhausting. It is as if you don’t have enough troubles of your own and want more baggage to carry. Simple friends are hard to find. People require some effort in friendships and that’s such a turn off. It is not the general notion that one can be friends with another by minimum effort. All I want is for someone to listen to when I have something to speak and I can lend an ear when someone else needs me to listen. That’s it. Communication. Shouldn’t that be enough? Apparently it’s not. People love to get involved in other people’s business as if they have a right to do so as friends. Why can’t we go on living by being in our own sphere and just communicate with each other instead of forcing oneself into the sphere of some other person?

“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt.”

Such inevitable thing. You put all these efforts to please people around you and it always backfires at some point of time. What’s the point of it all then?

“Letters are just pieces of paper,” I said. “Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.”

I love writing letters, only with the flaw that I have no one to address it to. Writing letters is more difficult than it sounds. You sit down with the determination of writing something that is close to you or has happened with you. Sometimes you just can’t bring out words to write. Your mind is brimming with words but you just can’t provide justice to them. I believe that everyone should write a letter once in a while. It is more self reflecting than it is credited for.

“Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.”

I have always put importance in writing things. Having maintained diaries for the past 8 years, I have observed one thing. Once I finish up an entry, I don’t ever read it again. I reckon that is because I feel like I am digging up the past. Even if I wrote something just a minute ago, I am not the same person that I was that minute ago. I evolved within that very minute. The minute that I spent writing sentences, I made up some thoughts in my mind which changed me as soon as they came into being.

Unfortunately, there is a movie based on this book. Why would anyone do that to a Murakami’s work? That’s just straightaway absurd. I can’t even think of watching the movie. It will only degrade the purity of the book.

 

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