Reply To: Conflict and the End of Fiction

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Taylor Clogston


Just a quick warning that all Murakami’s books have a lot of sexual content, so if that (understandably) bothers you, probably best to stay away.

1Q84 doesn’t flawlessly mirror each character in where they start out and where they end, but it does introduce a double handful of motifs and themes and will carry forward even when the plot intrigue is dropped. One of the main characters gets frustrated with a taxi stuck in traffic on a bridge, and she gets out to take a maintenance staircase downward, which leads her, unknowingly, to the parallel world. The author gives us this exchange between Aomame and the driver:


“Thanks very much,” he said. “Be careful, it looks windy out there. Don’t slip.”

“I’ll be careful,” Aomame said.

“And also,” the driver said, facing the mirror, “please remember: things are not what they seem.”

Things are not what they seem, Aomame repeated mentally. “What do you mean by that?” she asked with knitted brows.

The driver chose his words carefully: “It’s just that you’re about to do something out of the ordinary. Am I right? People do not ordinarily climb down the emergency stairs of the Metropolitan Expressway in the middle of the day – especially women.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“Right. And after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little. Things may look different to you than they did before. I’ve had that experience myself. But don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality.”

On the second read, that certainly plays into the way the narrative is about two people lost in their own perceptions of reality fleeing from supernatural intrigue and just finding the place where they know each other exist. (I find it funny, whether or not it was intentional, that the driver says all these things while looking at Aomame using the mirror, when she’s about to go through the looking glass, as it were)

And yes, I see both these patterns in Card and Tolkien also, which is a big part of why I enjoy them both so much =P

"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

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