February 25, 2005

Anton Chekhov: we are all actors in someone else's little story

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Colonel Sanders (to Hoshino):

"What Chekhov was getting at is this: necessity is an independent concept. It has a different structure from logic, morals, or meaning. Its function lies entirely in the role it plays. What doesn't play a role, doesn't exist. What necessity requires does need to exist. That's what you call dramaturgy. Logic, morals, or meaning don't have anything to do with it. It's all a question of relationality...

"The stone you're carring there is a Chekhov's pistol. It will have to be fired. So in that sense it's important. But there's nothing sacred or holy about it. So don't worry yourself about any curse."

From p 266 Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

My Review: Kafka on the Shore is a similar, but almost entirely different kind of story from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. There's a less clear understanding of purity, more overt references and opinions of the author. Somehow, it doesn't touch me as emotionally (perhaps it's the feeling that Murakami really glosses things over hyper postmodern style). Some things were hard to stomach, and I wish it had been translated by Jay Rubin or Alfred Birnbaum instead of Philip Gabriel. Nonetheless, highly recommended for the content and as always Murakami leaves me full of wonder.

PS I'd really like to have a small dog if I had the money and the place.

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