Recently I finished reading Murakami’s 1Q84. The book is of course a spin off *Murakami style* of the very popular Geroge Owell novel 1984. To refresh my memory and understand the plot better I read both of them back to back.
The book has very strong influences of all components that Murakami is very famous for. His whole ‘leaving the soul in another world’ elements, making cats an important symbol of change and the dark side of human mind intertwined in parallel worlds. Of course this along with the skeleton of 1984 plot, made the book a must-must read!
But having said all of this and realised much more, I concluded something. Murakami’s books have reached their peak. I know it sounds blasphemous to many but as my friend Apoorva always says, ‘when you love works of a particular author, you just know this is his last best. You can see a pattern.’
And I am ready with my reasoning as well. Murakami has based almost all his books on similar central ideas. And many of his ideas overlap among his writings. But in my opinion 1Q84 has exhausted all his ideas under one umbrella. This is probably his only novel where all his ideologies and elements have been combined extensively. This clearly shows that this is perhaps his last known different trick.
I am fond of many authors and Murakami does rank very high in the list. But the one who always manages to top is of course Salman Rushdie.
Many people have asked me if I feel he has reached his peak. With much alacrity I often say no. They of course think that crazy fandom has affected my senses but that is not so. What makes Rushdie different from many writers is his capability to evolve his narrative style. He switches from mystical realism to philosophy to romance and back. Also no two novels will ever be same.
Much of this I only believed and did not keep it as sacrosanct in my opinionated head. But having read Joseph Anton a lot changed. Joseph Anton is what he arguably accepts as fictionalised account of his so called autobiography. There in I realsied that a man whose entire set of works is based on only mystical realism and elements of magic can write three hundred pages without it, knows a thing or two beyond writing. He knows the art of it.
He wrote an article in Sunday times about being in a relationship and that thousand word writing piece was beyond enthralling. No fiction no philosophy plain simple straight from heart piece and it stayed with me for years.
I didn’t want to compare the two. Murakami and Rushdie but somehow the thoughts flew that way. And in the end I realised something. We get paid not for our degrees or qualifications or even our experience, we get paid for what we do, what we are.
I will write a post soon on the last bit, but tell me as a reader do you understand the context of these words with Murakami and Rushdie discussion? Do you?