Kafka On The Shore
It’s not easy to write clearly and precisely review of this book, but I still want to give a try. Language is not the problem— In fact I prefer English here. A big disadvantage when writing in Chinese is that I subconsciously use complicated words which may cause redundancy and useless emotional deviation.
This book tells a determined story, a 15-year-old boy runs away from his father’s house to escape an Oedipal curse. He found his mother, his sister and himself by escaping and realising the curse at the same time. It is concise but not simple (many people don’t see the difference), however, a jungle is still a jungle. Metaphors lead the way make readers difficult to follow. Once pondering the abstract world deeply, you may get lost. Endless trees seem similar, noisy ideas squeeze to you, what’s your original thoughts and what’s author’s opinion, borders twist and overlap. It’s never easy to describe humanity, a distinguished book open possibilities instead of giving any assertive conclusions.
Masterpieces influence people’s mind, like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, it can also make us fear by forcing us face to our fear, isolation, desire and hopelessness, face to human defects. We encounter our destiny just when we try to escape from it. Like the boy in this book, instead of saying he managed to achieve his goal — getting rid of his curse (his destiny) — I would like to say that he was lead and attracted by his destiny. The way he runs out of his curse is by realising it step by step then face to destiny fearlessly. The irony of fate, accept it as part of life, the weakness of human being, accept it as part of ourselves, like the one who walks under shadow but never gives up to trust the existence of brightness.
I know nothing about why we live, if human were cursed by problems and imperfectness, destiny is humanity, nowhere to escape. Life is like a searching process, the moment we believe we find ourselves maybe the exact moment we get lost, then we start to find again and get lost again. If there is a perpetual motion machine, it’s our mind. The currents of minds rush into a whirlpool, swirl and swirl, struggle and sink.
Haruki Murakami(the author) used to describe two worlds — the reality world and the spirit world — parallel and merge them together at some point, usually the dream in reality world and the things happen in spirit world mean the same thing but narrative by different ways or different metaphors. Although his books are written by the third person, readers can still cast themselves on characters very easy. The empathy makes reading easy but also stops reading from time to time because you will always wonder what your will do if you are the character.
It’s not the first time I read this book, but my thoughts are totally different. Just like people can not step twice into the same river. Life influences the jungle of metal actives, some trees dead, others grow up bigger. My high school professor told me the way to read a book is to compress it first, get a rough idea, then expand the book by exploring the meanings hidden behind words and sentences. No idea when I will expand this book again, it’s time to move forward.
If you are the one who have those feelings, you have to go it alone as you wander through the darkness. Your mind and body have to bear it all. All by yourself.