Friday, November 30, 2018

Speaking of the Arts: Ballet

Making that high leap in the photo above is my student Shin Yelin (신예린), who gave me this image that I might post it on my blog. She tells me that she began ballet lessons when she was eight, inspired by a performance of Giselle. Her parents didn't push her; she made the decision on her own, and continues to hold to it in her love for this style of dance despite the pain to her feet. She was photographed in this leap a year ago last July and gave me the right to post this picture here on my blog.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ozawa and Murakami: Music!

Some publicist wrote:
"a series of conversations on their shared passion: music, [and] interspersed with ruminations [ . . . ] on the essential nature of both music and writing [ and thus. . . ] an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros."
Or so on, till the end, thought the publicist . . . who nevertheless is right.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Murakami: Visible Darkness

Things that happen only during "the spooky hours between midnight and dawn . . ."
"In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It's important to combine the two in just the right amount."
A "pyrotechnical genius," he sets the novel on fire . . .


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Murakami: The Wind-Up, the Pitch

The well is full of desolated hope:
"I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for."
But the world just keeps spinning 'round . . .


Monday, November 26, 2018

Murakami: Color Red

Somewhere in the story, some character says something like the following:
"You can hide memories, but you can't erase history."
Well, I say that you can erase history, but only if it has been written down. Just take your eraser and rub out what's been written. But far more history has never been written down.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Murakami goes wild . . .

A darn good sheeple-chase!
"Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity . . . . Only when it is gone do people realize it even existed."
What goes up, must come down . . .


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Same as it ever was!

And see what Murakami's up to these days:
"Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else . . . . But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place. I wasn't going anywhere. I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return."
Let's do the Twist, like we did  last summer! Dance, dance, dance!


Friday, November 23, 2018

Murakami as Journalist

On Monday, March 20, 1995, five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo released the poison gas sarin on the Tokyo subway system:
"I have no physical symptoms, but psychologically there's this burden . . . . It takes positive thinking to overcome fear, otherwise you'll carry around this victim mentality forever."
Sarin is twenty-six times more deadly than cyanide, and Murakami details the story.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Everything Sheep-Shape

Murakami feels the passing of time:
"Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting."
Regrets, I've had a few . . .


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

South of the Border, West of the Sun: Difficult Directions

"Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star . . . . Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything."


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Murakami never forgets . . .


"There are some things about myself I can't explain to anyone. There are some things I don't understand at all." (This very pageless page cited yesterday)


Monday, November 19, 2018

Murakami once said . . .

The Elephant Vanishes: Stories. Are we telling stories . . . Lies? But why?
"There are some things about myself I can't explain to anyone. There are some things I don't understand at all."
Let us lie together . . . or break bread together on our knees. And is the elephant now gone? Look carefully . . .


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Murakami's Windsong?

Typical Murakami?
"There are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts."
"From deep wells, you must have drawn your anger . . ." (Hodges)


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Without Murakami?

Murakami must have lucid dreams:
"Dreams are the kind of things you can - when you need to - borrow and lend out."
Unless he means the books that he writes, available in The Strange Library.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Murakami knocks 'em dead

Better ways to live than by killing . . .
"Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there with me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I'd been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn't."
. . . but not by looking death in the face.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Norwegian Would

Murakami would . . . wouldn't he?
"I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it — to be fed so much love I couldn't take any more."
Can a man be so inattentive?


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Murmur of Murakami

Can a library whisper:
"Beyond the inner door was a shadowy corridor lit by a single flickering bulb. We stepped into the dying light."
Murakami's maybe.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Slight Murakami

Kafka? Some German-Jewish writer on the eve of the holocaust who might or might not have said these words in Murakami's novel:
"Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on . . . . Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes."
But a true coward would stand up for what he believes in and proudly close his eyes.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 12, 2018

Another Murakami excerpt . . .

Excerpt of an excerpt:
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janacek's Sinfonietta — probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn't seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.

How many people could recognize Janacek's Sinfonietta after hearing just the first few bars? Probably somewhere between "very few" and "almost none." But for some reason, Aomame was one of the few who could.
Good hook. Good series of hooks! I think I'll do this for a few days since I'm so busy.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Psst . . . Haruki Murakami

Even the Mike is Green

There was this great big screaming capitalized MOMENT OF INSPIRATION:
In 1978 Murakami was in the bleachers of Jingu Stadium watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp when Dave Hilton, an American, came to bat. According to an oft-repeated story, in the instant that he [i.e., Dave Hilton] hit a double, Murakami suddenly realized that he could write a novel. He went home and began writing that night.
The story almost seems to say a man of great screaming . . . or do I mean great scheming?


Saturday, November 10, 2018

There were echoes in there . . .

Carter's Invisible Tower
Volume 1

Carter Kaplan's Echoes has arrived, and its plural title "Echoes" makes me want to say "have" arrived, but I bend my will to the correct grammar and write "has."

It actually arrived some weeks ago, and I've been in a quandary about what to do with it, but don't say "read it" because I have -- in glorious bits and pieces over the past several years, as well as again, in part, since it arrived.

But what to do with it beyond reading is more the question, like, say, where to place it. It can't forever stand there like a tourist in the upcast shadow of Haruki Murakami's IQ84, hoping for that Japanese masterpiece -- situated just out of sight left of the lower-left corner -- to cast some good fortune over its way . . .

Labels: ,

Friday, November 09, 2018

Byrne still carries a flame . . .

David Byrne is currently in London's O2 Arena performing many of his old numbers in new ways, and here is how one reserved British critic, Michael Hann, lightly praises the result, the question that motivated his praise being this one: Was it good?
Yes, it was good. It was better than good. It was incredible, fabulous, dazzling. It was whatever adjective you want to throw at it. I can't recall seeing a more engrossing pop production, ever.
Like most British, as we see, Mr. Hann understates his praise:
[This is w]hy David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from his tour. This was the most engrossing pop production I've ever seen.
Michael Hann is to be thanked for his understated review, "Why David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from his tour" (The Spectator, November 10, 2018), for we know how to read Hann's scant praise for these old songs.

In short, multiply Hann's praise by a factor of five to obtain the American-equivalent praise . . .


Thursday, November 08, 2018

You mean . . . computers also have to be plugged in to work?

Unplugging or Inplugging
Big Difference!

But I thought there were plenty of electromagnetic waves left over from the Big Bang, so why doesn't some of that electromagnetic noise just seep into my computer and keep it running even when it's unplugged?


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Computer Problems

Image result for red
Seeing Red

I'm not actually angry, but my computer is on the blink . . .


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

So Sorry

No time to blog about nothing today:

. . . except this coal-black flag.


Monday, November 05, 2018


My wife and I refurbished our apartment's only true closet yesterday, and it looks nothing like this:

Of course, the one depicted  above is not really a water closet anyway (nor is ours) . . . except during the rainy season.


Sunday, November 04, 2018

Franklin Again!

"Early," said Fred,
"Early," said guys
to the man who'd left them
but wise.


Saturday, November 03, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

My wife and I have just returned with our younger kid En-Uk from the film Bohemian Rhapsody, and I found it better than I had expected after reading a somewhat critical review that said the film merely played out on the surface of Mercury's flamboyance.

I don't agree with that critic, though the film didn't go to great depths in any attempt to explain Mercury . . .

Anyhow, the hour has grown late, so I will head for slumberland and leave you with encouragement to go see the film!


Friday, November 02, 2018

Drinking Problem? Not so long as we don't run dry . . .

I helped a former student in editing parts of a text that she had translated from Korean into English, and she returned the favor by getting these snapshots of me drinking my usual five shots of strong brew, as you see below:

She called it my hemlock

Like Mithridates, I drank it up!

Ah! Caffeinated! And still drinking!


Thursday, November 01, 2018

Snotty News

Editing: Good or Bad?
Korea JoongAng Daily
October 31, 2018

Whether a joke that went awry, or one that didn't go far enough, the headline's "it snot" would better have read "its snot."