The New Yorker, book reviews, Jan 17, 2005
John Updike takes on a book review of the
surreal Japanese author Haruki Murakami in the latest The New Yorker:
I?ve real most o of Murakami but didn?t even know this novel. An
inportant point about Murakami is that his novels are the least
?Japaneseque? of authors?if tell a Japanese that you worship Murakami?s
work, they nod their head and say, So ka (since Murakami is the most gaijin like of modern writers).
Haruki Murakami?s dreamlike new novel
?Colonel Sanders, in his white suit and string tie, appears?.as a
fast-talking pimp. The Colonel, questioned by the startled Hoshino
about his nature, quotes another venerable text, Ueda Akinari?s ?Tales
of Moonlight and Rain":
Shape I may take, converse I may, but neither god nor Buddha am I,
rather an insensate being whose heart thus differs from that of man.
?To quote Colonel Sanders once more:
?Listen, God only exists in people??s minds. Especially in Japan, Gods
always been kind of a flexible concept. Look at what happened after the
war. Douglas MacArthur ordered the divine emperor to quit being God,
and he did, making a speech saying he was just an ordinary person.?