The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami


Would you be willing to immersed yourself in knowledge and forsaking the daily necessities? The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami would be an interesting book to explore this matter based on a more far-fetched plots and scenarios. The protagonist is a teenager who’s interested in topics concerning history and classical civilization. One day he gets to the library after school to enquire about books on tax collecting systems of Ottoman Empire, here he’s confined and enforced by library staff to recall verbatim the books in a month and to study them day and night, without contact with the outside world. The scary bit is that the library staff likes sucking fruity human brains – that boy really has no way out! On the other hand, would that be an enjoyable experience for the boy that he can finally shake off all his emotions of mortal feelings into devouring the knowledge of books attentively? It is for you to find out…


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

41lJWvuUV2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the root of true harmony.

I think that reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage totally destroys my past experiences of reading other novels by other authors. Dream interpretations, questions of psychology and philosophy, dialogues and themes surrounding classical music are bountiful in the novel that would leave you intrigued. What I have found the most interesting must be the social alienation, disparaging human distance which are explored in this work by Haruki Murakami – the depiction and the plot is realistic, down to earth, ridiculous yet blood-chilling at the same time, when you think deep about it. In my opinion, this novel is a reverse to The Catcher in the Rye, compared with don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. It is the pilgrimage of self-discovery working abreast with ebb and flow with time.

The charming bit about this novel is that I could picture myself as the protagonist, that accentuates the tale all the more moving. Four friends he meets in Nagoya during the time in high school, one man he encounters in the university in Tokyo. All five people’s surnames are related to colours. Red, Blue, White, Black, and Grey. According to what Tsukuru Tazaki, he feels detached,  being colourless, insipid, boring, unintelligent, unexceptional (he’s been emphasizing it so many times in the novel). Not only because of his lack in colour, somehow the friendships with all his friends dissolve and disappear, one by one, far off in the distance. When the four friends he met in high school all in a sudden claim that he’s not part of the group anymore, the reasons for this loss is unresolved and leaves a scorched mark in his heart.

1I think this book has cleared some of my previous doubts. Friendship is a realism often seen as a collective entity which needs a good deal of maintenance, like five elements, five fingers, a pentagon of the same length. However, individuals need self-introspection of life to evolve and develop, as with friendships; the loss is no one’s fault, it’s just reflection of our desire and admiration at present that one feels being illuminated with it. Overall, humans should embrace friendships wholeheartedly for self-stimulation, but at the end of the way, friendship needs the act of moving on. MOVING ON is very important for self-progression and friendship ought not be regarded as a nostalgic element and harmony, but a reflection of our collective needs at the present stage and an accompaniment of our life pilgrimage.

It is just my present feeling after finishing this novel, but I hope if I re-read it after some time, it will leave a new inspiration and thought about my life.