Sunday Morning! “First Person Singular” by Haruki Murakami

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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10 Responses

  1. greginak
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    says:

    I should have read some Murakami since i’m a marathoner also. I will eventually since his running books are always loved.

    I also one of those who likes to drive. Loved it when i was young and still enjoy it. When i’ve done late night or early morning drives i’ve always wondered how many other people out on the roads were just driving like i was or were heading someplace. Always knew some were just picking a direction and going. Say whatever you want about the enviro impact of cars, driving will always been here and some will enjoy it for all sorts of reasons. I once made my way across Iowa on a road trip by just randomly picking turns then were either west or south then hoping i never hit a dead end. I didn’t but found some pretty hopeless looking dirt roads that just happened to end up somewhere. By somewhere i mean a town of 15 buildings, 5 of them not boarded up but at least on a decent road.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to greginak
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      says:

      It’s interesting you mention marathons. I’ve just recently thought that I should take up running. I’ve always been an avid walker- it’s how I think. Pretty much everywhere I’ve lived, one of the first things I had to do was walk from one end of the city to another. It eventually won out over driving for me. I sold my car for scrap a few years ago and now walk everywhere. But, it occurred to me reading Murakami that I used to love long-distance running and lots of people take it up again in middle-age. Murakami started running at 33 because he had to sit so much in order to write.

      Now, going for long walks without planned directions in a strange place is a whole other adventure. That’s when it can get a bit scary, but usually it turns out okay. It’s maybe safer in a car though!Report

      • greginak in reply to Rufus F.
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        says:

        Fwiw I started to run regularly at 48 and picked up the marathon bug pretty quick. Whatever works for you is good but running is a great way to see a city or place. Running a long distance can be incredibly cathartic or filled with bliss or deeply emotional in a lot of ways. It’s as much mental as physical. I’ve run in places i didn’t know risking getting lost. A great little personal adventure as long as you dont’ get too lost. Even then it’s all fun once you get back.Report

  2. Ben Sears
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    says:

    Never heard of this guy but now I want to read him. Thanks.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Ben Sears
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      says:

      Awesome! Just as a note, I enjoyed this collection a lot, but was having a discussion at the bookstore the other day and it reminded me that I should have mentioned it’s definitely “Murakami Light.” Just as enjoyable as his other books, but if you want something meatier afterwards, I’d suggest “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” or “Norweigan Wood.”Report

  3. Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I love Murakami. I discovered him in 2002-2003 as a kind of lonely young man teaching English in Japan. My first Murakami novel was Sputnik Sweetheart. Murakami has become a kind of running annual joke for “writers that will not win the Nobel prize for literature.”Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Right! It’s a little absurd. I do have the fear that he’ll win it and then die the next day, so probably better if it’s when he’s 102.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Rufus F.
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        says:

        I suspect that the Nobel Literature Committee feels like Murakami is just a bit too popular to really be literary fiction or magical realism. After all, his stories appear frequently in the New Yorker which might as well be a bastion of the upper middle-brow in their eyes. He also probably gets close enough but not quite there to the “avoid dating guys with these authors on their bookshelves” category because of the sadish, youngish, middle-class men in his stories and how much sex they have with much hotter women generally.Report

        • Rufus F. in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          This is true and I have heard exactly that criticism of Murakami made frequently, although he does write stories where the hotter women don’t really like the saddish men that much afterwards, which is at least better than someone like Henry Miller.Report

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