Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1Q84 Chapters 1-15: Quotes Which Qaught My Interest


As pertaining to reality:
"And also," the driver said, facing the mirror, "please remember: things are not what they seem." 

"But, don't let appearances fool you. There's always only one reality." (p. 16 in my nook)

As to writing in connection with existence:
Tengo said, "When I'm writing a story, I use words to transform the surrounding scene into something more natural for me. In other words, I reconstruct it. That way, I can confirm without a doubt that this person known as 'me' exists in the world. This is a totally different process from steeping myself in the world of math."

"You confirm that you exist," Fuka-Eri said.

"I can't say I've been one hundred percent successful at it," Tengo said. (p. 61)

As to the majority in society:
"Finally," his girlfriend said, "everybody feels safe belonging not to the excluded minority but to the excluding majority. You think, Oh, I'm glad that's not me. It's basically the same in all periods in all societies. If you belong to the majority, you can avoid thinking about lots of troubling things."  (p. 91)

As to our ever changing world:
Maybe I can look at it this way--the problem is not with me but with the world around me. It's not that my consciousness or mind has given rise to some abnormality, but rather that some kind of incomprehensible power has caused the world around me to change. (p. 128)

As to the title and its meaning:
1Q84--that's what I'll call this new world, Aoname decided.

Q is for "question mark." A world that bears a question.

Aomame nodded to herself as she walked along.

Like it or not, I'm here now, in the year 1Q84. The 1984 that I knew no longer exists. It's 1Q84 now. The air has changed, the scene has changed. I have to adapt to this world-with-a-question-mark as soon as I can. Like an animal released into a new forest. In order to protect myself and survive, I have to learn the rules of this place and adapt myself to them. (p. 133)

As to how we fit in the world. Or, don't:
Either I'm funny or the word's funny, I don't know which. The bottle and the lid don't fit. It could be the bottle's fault or the lid's fault. In either case, there's no denying that the fit is bad. (Aomame p. 134)

As to belonging:
Tengo would tell himself that this was not the place where he belonged. He had been mistakenly locked in a cage. Someday his real parents, guided by sheer good fortune, would find him. They would rescue him from this cramped and ugly cage and bring him back where he belonged. Then he would have the most beautiful, peaceful, and free Sundays imaginable. (p. 206)

As to the role of story:
No matter how clear the relationships of things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it differed from math. The role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell. That possibility would gently warm his heart from within. (p. 207-208)

17 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to reading this book at some point...

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  2. You're quite a bit further than me, but I enjoyed reading the quotes nonetheless! This is such a spell-binding novel. I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to give it a try.

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  3. Nice choices, Bellezza. I have bookmarked so many pages that I am afraid i'm going to have 1/4 of the book bookmarked. The only solution then is to just read the book all over again:)

    (I'm just past ch. 20) Where are you?

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  4. You're KILLING ME. I haven't gotten the book yet. Arrgh! lol

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  5. Kailana, it's so wonderful. But, it has much more violence (against women) than I've ever seen Haruki Murakami use in his novels before. There's almost a vigil ante aspect, where two women are taking it into their own hands to 'remove men' who are abusing women. Well, I don't want to give too much away, but it's such an interesting novel on so many levels. Many levels.

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  6. Les, I'm so thrilled that you're reading this! It's a rather ambitious book for your 'first' Murakami; after this, you can read anything by him! Looking forward to discussing it with you when we're done. Whenever that is, no rushing!

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  7. Harvee, this is another instance of loving my nook as I can just bookmark and highlight as I go. Which, like you, I'm doing practically every other page. I'm on page 340 or thereabouts, reading every night while my husband watches tv hopeful that someone else can do my grading. ;)

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  8. Andi, perhaps for Christmas? Or, Thanksgiving break? Such a gift!

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  9. Oh, I WILL read this book. Somehow, someway. Someday...

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  10. I'm so grateful to you for posting these quotations. Now I know this isn't a book for me, and won't spend my money or my time on it. I don't know if I'm the bottle or the lid, but I know the fit would be bad!

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  11. Bellezza, I'm even more intrigued by this book now. I really enjoyed the format of this post. I hope to read this book (relatively) soon.

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  12. I think someone is enjoying her read. :-)

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  13. Glad you're enjoying it, Bellezza! I'm well into the third volume now (but still a ways to go). This may be an odd thing to say, but for all the talk of parallel reality, I think this book, more than other Murakami I've read, is more grounded in this world.

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  14. I am just about finished with what would be the first book. I love it, cant wait to get into part 2 :)))

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  15. I'm far away from reading this one, but your choice of quotes remind me - I just love the way he writes..... he remains one of my all time greatest authors... thanks for the sneak preview.

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  16. At last you finally have it - how frustrating to have to wait that extra time.. I love these quotes and can imagine the need to highlight so much - I think reading something this big on your nook is a perfect use for it - hope you are loving it.

    I've just finished What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - what a fascinating man Murakami is, I devoured it and am going to start it again and think properly about what he says.

    I'm just beginning my journey with Murakami but can see why he is your favourite - enjoy 0:)

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  17. Hi Bellezza,
    Just started this yesterday and only about sixty pages in. Loving it so far!
    -Jay

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