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the earth keeps on turning

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Oct. 10th, 2006 | 11:04 pm

"the earth slowly keeps on turning. but beyond any... details of the real, there are dreams. and everyone's living in them."
   - murakami, kafka on the shore (p300)

the first book since harry potter and the half-blood prince that i was truly sorry to see the end of. which made me happy because i haven't been crazy about any of murakami's books since wind-up bird chronicle, and was afraid that i had somehow outgrown him. but he grew too.

in his other books the texture of everyday life is preserved as a sort of base for surreal occurrences, but in this one, while mundane sensual observations still keep the reader rooted, the fantastical is much more front-and-center, and more carefully planned in the two main parallel narratives (than in wind-up bird). and it's darker and deeper than wind-up bird. anyway, i can't really articulate what i liked about it at the moment, but if you read it, tell me what you think.

about living in dreams...these days i hope not! i had a really nerdy dream a few nights ago, about how i was at the asa conference and was in a rush to print out my paper before my session, and then when i got up to read it i realized that some of the lines were printed backwards (like "sdrawkcab") and i was struggling to try to read it anyway, but then i had to give up. i was embarrassed, of course, but more than that sorry to not be able to share my ideas with the people there and hear their responses. although i recognize that this is basically a very boring dream telling me that i'm spending way too much time thinking about academic matters, there is something about the urge to communicate i felt that i want to hang onto--yes the dream was about anxiety, and being embarrassed in front of other people, but it was also about the struggle to make my thoughts legible to other people... being defeated in that instance but having the urge persist anyway, as something more important than being embarrassed, or what people thought of me.

i was telling a. tonight about something that happened in my chinese class on monday: this kid (a 21-year-old "kid"), a singaporean playboy type (or at least that's how i had pegged him--always presenting himself with a kind of insouciant, challenging air). came over to talk to me during one of our class exercises and suddenly it was like he really wanted to pour his heart out. he stopped speaking chinese and was saying in english how he liked learning chinese because he was interested in the origins of chinese characters, how the sound and meaning go together, and why he thought chinese was a really important language to learn now. and he started asking me a lot of questions about what i wanted to do with my phd, and where i grew up. it was so unexpected. so yeah, the urge to communicate, the urge to be heard... is that what it's all about?

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from: jesucio
date: Oct. 11th, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)

i think so. i think everyone wants someone to bear witness to their existence. that's what partners are about, no? someone that is able to verify/testify/validate your existence from the big life experiences that you go through to the fact that you woke up at 7:37am, went to the bathroom to piss and brush, got dress, had a cup of coffee, and went to work... someone that observes these things that just pass, so that we ourselves can recognize that they actually happen and we actually are living. it's also what blogging is about. not only does a. know about the singaporean playboy but now we do, and now we know that a. knows as well - so a. witnessed the story and his being told the story and now we witness the story, a.'s being told the story, and now our being told the story. a big ball of existence and verification... without that, how do we know that these things (life) actually happen?

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