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Archive for February, 2009

Haruki Murakami

I am always very greedy with Murakami and his work. I often liken it to gorging myself on words ideas the same way i used to gorge on cake when i was at university. Hopefully though, Murakami will make me intellectually fatter and creatively stout rather than expanding my waistline!

I’m currently drip feeding myself the last few books of his i have yet to read. ‘Blind willow sleeping woman’, ‘south of the border, west of the sun’ and  ‘things i talk about when i am running’ as i really think i will feel quite desolate with any new work (though i think one is being translated right now). I do have as a backuJay Rubin’s ‘s biography and analysis of Murakami’s work (he has been his main translator) but i will rsist that until the end as I like to draw my own conclusions on his work and simply enjoy the stories for what they are without looking for symbolism.

I love the unusual angles he takes on ordinary things, how the unexpected happens to the least suspecting people, the surreal and abstract nature of events and their great coincidences and inexorable conclusion. I evangelise to everyone to hasn’t heard of him to read his work; I buy his books as gifts because they really are things to treasure and explore.

Vivid pictures with simple words, and through it all there is music.

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About oldest English words…    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7911645.stm

“The end result is so difficult to interpret that even I have to concentrate on occasions to work out what [I have written]”
The Death of handwriting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7907888.stm

i empathise with the above quote, though i want to write more by hand. I blame biros actually cos i always had to write in pen at school and my handwriting was really good. now it looks like a drunk spider 😦

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I finished reading this last night and would seriouly reccomend it as a very touching and painful portrait of the devastation of Hiroshima. The story centres mostly around the experiences of a Japanese family and their daughter Yasuke as the father trabnscribes his diaries of the days after the bomb dropped and the effects of radiation on himself, his daughter and the people around him. It feels unbelievable at times – the ladscapes he walks through. the devastaion but frightnening in a way a horror novel cannot be. simple language and almost calm descriptions of what he sees really hit home at how this affected them.

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Book gorging

I lobve it when i get so into a book i start to compulsively read it – currently Min Jin Lee ‘free food for millionaires’ is one of them. The characrters really grip me, the story flows well and i really care about what happens to them. I read 2/3 of it on saturday on the train and while i was at work and my friends at dinner were pretty wide yeed and shocked at how much i had got through.

I read Murukami’s ‘after Dark’ on sunday on the train and tube and have staretd a book on Hiroshima this morning. Murakami is like candy for me – but good nutritious candy that i am allowed to gobble up, drink in and gorge on. I sodre him and have a few more still to read. I always regert the last page, but at least i am sure i will reread him several times 🙂

My own writing is a little stalled, getting up at 6am and then working late and coming back by 9pm is not conducive to writing and neither is arguing about food with my mother. I want to write but i just dont have the will right now. I wish i could just transfer all my thoughts onto a page and have it out that way.

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blocked :(

i am struggling with one of my main stories right now, have been for some time but i am determined never to retire it.

I started it a few years ago now, and completed part one successfully. part 2 i have been writing for 3 years and am trying to gte back on it now and get it to work. I really want to write the prequel too and i think i need to immerse myself back in the world of the gangs and their quarrels to get it to work. The pace is different to the first story, and the breaks make it harder to continue and keep the flow – but i will not quit it – the characters wouldn’t let me rest if i did!

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is often very hard to do, but i have had to do this recently when i went through my hiatus folder and discovered at least 20 starts of stories. Some, like my first ever long fiction have been retired along time ago but i was just in denial about the whole thing and others were just mere starts that didn’t go anywhere at all. In tribute to these now retired stories i will say a small eulogy 😛

1: set in shanghai in the 1920’s (my favourite history period) it was a tale of intrigue, corruption and love and stopped abruptly with the death of a minor character in a bloodbath on a landing in a tenement. I had every intention of finishing this one, but somehow a spin off story from one another friend was writing took over and won. It was good while it lasted and maybe some events and charcters could get resurrected, but i doubt it. Gone too is the prequal and sequal of this story, the former just in mere notes still and the latter a few pages.

2: The sequal to the spinoff story that distracted me from my first. I didnt get very far, the main readers were all scattered by then and after that i lost the thread. Gone too is the 3rd part of that trilogy ahh suh sad goodbyes

and when i say gone i just mean moved to a folder that says retired rather than hiatus, i never delete – not intentionally anyway.

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I’m rather enjoying adding all the books I read to this blog. Its a walk down memory lane and a reminder of the wealth of words I must have stacked up in my head. Something I think I suffer from in my writing is a lack of varied vocabulary, something my blog posts don’t lack, nor any reviews or serious non fiction writing. Its something I need to fix, not that I want to go round abusing a poor thesaurus to death, but just looking for new and better ways to say things and express myself in my work.

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