Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kafka on the Shore. Haruki Murakami, 2002 (English Translation 2005)

Haruki Murakami sucks. The book is a prefect example of a senseless, though artful, concoction of literary references and popular postmodern devices. It sounds like a 101 course in Comparative Literature. It could be written by anyone who has taken a literature course on that level and has read a Marques novel, (or Tolkien in the worst case....) with a pinch of Pynchon - and I mean here the leeches falling from the sky, the door to a different reality, the quest for a magical stone, the divine idiot talking to cats, the Hegel quoting prostitutes, the American pop-culture icons (a Johnny Walker as a cat-murderer....??! - did I really read that?...), the elementary reductionist references to Aristotle, Plato, and Chekhov, the mystifications of some spiritual "depth", the Oedipal plot, the transsexual character, the menstruating teacher episode, and the entire existentialist scam that Murakami perpetrates on the unsuspecting reader....And the writer's "Japan-ness" hanging on by sentences like "His penis was hard as porcelain."!?...

Murakami's success as a writer is one more indication of the snobbery of the reading public who can't think for themselves and indulge their provincial pseudointellectualism by letting the literary scam artist flatter their vanity misleading them to believe that they belong to an "educated" reading club (which unfortunately they are not...Far from it...).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is awful. I have given every single one of his books a chance (ie read the first chapter), but he is uninteresting in every respect. I live in Japan and find his portrayal of modern Japan utterly uninspired.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100%.

I think one of the worst sentences in literature was written by Murakami: "When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank."

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Possibly one of the worst writers I've ever read (And I've read the first chapter in most of his books). He's kind of like Lionel Fanthorpe, yet less interesting.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

It looks like you're not keeping this blog anymore, but it's very seems like you have a good aesthetic and you don't get fooled by literary trends. (I got here by searching 'Murakami sucks' after feeling completely snowed-under by all the adulation surrounding 1Q84 and really appreciated your takedown of Kafka on the Shore.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read some of his early works "Hear the wind sing" and something I don't remember.

His works have....nothing....
no creativity
no great plot
no entertaining characters
...only pseudointellectual and artsy jazzy drunkard...

I won't bother cursing Mura-chan at all if he is not this much overhyped

9:46 AM  

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