Friday, February 20, 2009

Okay okay--anonymous commenting is reopened.

But the fact remains, I can't fucking stand anonymous trolls. I know it seems like a little thing, but I just find it FUCKING RUDE when people act like assholes and refuse to even use a half-assed pseudonym. So the following proviso is now in effect: if you want to troll, do your worst, but leave a name. If you try to do so anonymously, your comment will still appear, but it will appear under the name "Thidwick the Dim-Witted Moose." Fair warning.


Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...


7:17 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

See the fate that awaits anonymous trolls? Okay then.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Ah, thank you. It saves me the trouble of registering an account.

I have been reading Murakami lately. I did not like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and wrote an amazon review to that effect. However, Norwegian Wood was very good.

The word verification system just gave me the word "deadcup." Fascinating.

- SK

8:37 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

Have I talked about Murakami before? I did go through a phase, and I've read all of his novels and most of his short stories. He was always engaging, but even as I was reading, I just couldn't help thinking: this is mostly literary junk food. There's really no way to say it without seeming like a terrible snob, but it struck me--even as I was mostly enjoying it!--as the kind of thing that people read to look smart without being particularly deep or challenging. It has the look of depth without actually being so.

The dude has a definite formula--all his narrators are exactly the same person, and even on those uncommon occasions when he writes in the third person, it somehow FEELS the same. He has, let us say, limited range. And what he does is he starts all these quirky, interesting mysteries and plot strands, and it's quite impressive-looking while he's juggling all these things, but it's pretty obvious that he has no idea what he's going to do for the dismount (to badly mangle the metaphor because I don't know the word for "conclude a juggling routine," assuming there is such a word), so it rarely feels substantial. It feels like quirkiness for its own sake, more often than not, which would be okay except that it's masquerading as depth, which it isn't. I think Norwegian Wood is his best novel because the conscious avoidance of supernatural elements forces him to concentrate on the human, to the book's great benefit. I also thought the short story collection After the Quake was very good.

And okay, really now, he's almost certainly better than I make him sound; it's just my contrariness that makes me push back against a writer who, though undeniably talented, I find overrated. Why won't they listen to me?!?! Certainly, he's a much better writer than those two OTHER fuckers whom I will not name again.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Yeah, I basically agree with you. I said roughly the same things in my review. Except I'd go so far as to say that the presence of disparate plot strands and supernatural elements is a deliberate tactic on his part to attempt to conceal the fact that he has nothing to say. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a perfect example, the first half is actually quite good, but the final resolution to the whole marital conflict thing is total bullshit.

I've read four of his books, and Norwegian Wood was the only one I liked. I find that, when he does have something to say, he cribs heavily from Kawabata and Soseki. But there's nothing wrong with stealing from the best, I suppose.

- SK

10:29 PM  

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