Reading

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Reading: a method of self-annihilation, also a method of escapism. From what?… probably the world. Normalcy equates to bouts of tragedy punctuated by moments of silence and then yet another tragedy right on the heels of the last until they’re stacked one on top of another and you’re like, well, shit.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot, aka participating “engrossed self-annihilation”, mild escapism, and basic nerdy pleasure. I’ve been burying my nose into books, lots of books–story books, nonfiction books, books-books. (It’s the library card fever.)

I’ve been trying to finish Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, but it has the effect of making real life seem as slow as he portrays. Figured I’d just forgotten how to read. But then I devoured Burrough’s latest memoir Lust and Wonder and blundered on through three more in a week, so I figure that maybe I just wasn’t vibin’ Steinbeck.

Also, it’s official: I’ve fallen in love with Haruki Murakami. I quoted him before I read him and now I get it. Him. Sort of. At least, I can hear his voice, I can paint his scenes and it’s all coming together. It’s like a partially weaved quilt of gradual understanding. My mind picks up on recurring themes in Murakami’s stories: the struggling novelist, the empty one night stands, the natural disasters. Occasionally it’s doused in absurdism. Overall, though, it’s fantastic. Dreamlike. The perfect thing to lose your sense of self with, oh-ho-ho.

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8 thoughts on “Reading

  1. I’ve read 3 murakami now. For me he holds such a strange power. I’m never super enthralled after a book; I kind of bumble through in a semi dream-like state and arrive at the end. Never had the immediate impact as I’ve had with some of my other fave authors (think selby). But then I find myself buying another murakami book, or just randomingly thinking about one of the plots. It’s like a strange subconscious hold. Definitely an interesting author to read at any rate!

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  2. Hey Luke! 🙂 Your description of reading Murakami’s books = insanely on point, esp. the part on bumbling around through his plots, finding yourself wondering about them later on…. Thanks for the read! Also, love your work + blog.

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  3. Escapism yes, self annihilation? Not sure. I get what you mean (at least I think I do) – we disappear into the book. We’re like spectators on an unfolding saga or story, our own lives on hold as we vicariously experience

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  4. Hey, that’s awesome to hear that you’re enjoying Murakami’s works! I’ve only read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I remember being caught up in the mind-bending dream-like pall of its story.

    I myself just started reading Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, by David Foster Wallace. If you like acerbic and grammatically challenging comedies with a bit of outlandish violence, then I say try reading some of his books. They are mental workouts, without a doubt.

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    • Ah! The “mind-bending dream-like pall of its story”–accurate description of Murakami’s stye.

      Brief Interviews with Hideous Men sounds fascinating. I’ll definitely check it out sometime. Thanks for the read & rec!

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  5. I’ve read a few of your posts, and love your writing style!
    I recently read Birthday Girl, my first short story by Murakami (it even inspired me to write a review of sorts about it, if you’d be interested to see that and share your thoughts :P) and I found I didn’t love him as much as everyone else seems to. I’ve been recommended a couple of his other stories that I should read, but have you any suggestions of good places to start?

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