Or take Haruki Murakami for example. In his work he communicates so much of his own poignant observations about the world through his characters, without sounding preachy. His words tend to be gentle and poetic to the point of creating soft background music, with an effect similar to those in movie scenes. After reading almost all of his books, it’s still hard to pin how he does it. On the first page of his novel “Dance Dance Dance” there is this passage: “I wake up. I wonder where I am. Not only do I think about it, I also ask myself out loud: “Where am I?” But the question makes no sense. Even without asking, I know the answer. I am here, in my life. In my everyday life – an addition to my true being. A few incidents and affairs, circumstances that god-knows-when became my attributes, although I’ve never accepted them.” (A loose translation from another language.) I don’t know about others, but I find it hard to escape this riptide of vulnerability; helpless about the main character’s – my own – helplessness, I end up being pulled into yet another Murakami’s kingdom.
Many of my favorite novels are told from the first person, at least in part. I recently read Erlend Loe’s latest book; in it, he brings back a beloved character, an outcast who doesn’t fit into the world of ‘normality’. The story didn’t appeal to me as much as the first one but the narration was equally captivating. So this outcast comes back after having lived a solitary life in the woods for a few years, and estimates his wife’s new partner from afar. “He is unbearably symmetrical”, our hero thinks, “everything he has on one side of the face is there on another.” (A loose translation on my part as I didn’t read it in English.) Who writes that, if you know what I mean!? Loe has a way with those everyday nuances people take for granted and things that go without saying. You can’t help but feel with this character, and through a simplest of sentences, realize the intensity of his emotions.
(To be continued)
Shaping one’s imagination into gripping prose is a lot like martial arts: the end result doesn’t give away the amount of sweat that goes into the act. You see, my literary heroes seem to have this quality that escapes being shaped into singular advice on plotting, dialogue and such. One could say that I enjoy stories that bring absurdity into the mundane, those that play with my perception of everyday things. If the main character or the narrator is a strong and a captivating persona, the story, to me, becomes secondary; they can well grab my attention by telling me a chicken soup recipe. And I guess I enjoy first-person narratives for that same reason. It’s as if a singular, deeply limited view on events sits well with my own narrowness and helplessness as a human being…
(To be continued)
I reached out.
Over and over again,
I plummeted to unbearable grounds.
You can’t be a friend to anyone
Who isn’t befriended by himself.
The message was short so although dozy, I captured it with a single glance. It read:
“I wanted to send you at least something, so I send you this.”
It’s been over a decade since the sentence sneaked into my phone’s display one night in the wee hours, causing a perpetual smile.
Words alone may not once be enough to express our feelings. But the art of communication is about the courage to reveal that there are hidden meanings, waiting to be explored.
A specialty and a frailty, a capacity and a railing; hardly invited to ether, unwelcome to be, each person’s fashion of seeing the world was one of a kind, fascinating and blindly limiting.
Ashamed to put it on display, people wore brain uniforms instead – all glossy and adorned – restraining their inborn edges.
Once upon a time in the land of regulated frameworks, no one noticed when the Big Brother freely moved his belongings out of the living-room TV.
People in our life give us what’s available to them in the moment, never more and never less. Considering reasons for that sparks imagination, for imagination’s sake, remaining weightless.
No creature dresses in sameness and consistency. Likewise, no one can present what’s not with them.
And that is okay.