Literature with Other Arts
Edited By Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie
Haruki Murakami and Western Classical Music. Janáček’s Sinfonietta as Leitmotiv of the Novel, 1Q84
← 148 | 149 →Haruki Murakami and Western Classical Music
Janáček’s Sinfonietta as Leitmotiv of the Novel, 1Q841
Otsuma Women’s University, Japan
Prelude to my Article—or, an Apology for my too Personal Reading
I must confess that my reading of the novel 1Q84 is much more personal than academic. It is partly because I belong to the same generation as Haruki Murakami. Murakami is one year younger than I am, and has been living in Tokyo from 1968, when he matriculated at Waseda University, until today. In the same year, 1968, I entered Tokyo University, having lived in Tokyo since 1951 and continuing to live there until 1989. Although I have never met Haruki Murakami, I share with him a very similar impression of Tokyo’s cultural environment as it existed from 1968 to 1989.
It is said that when the citizens of Prague read Kafka’s The Castle, the description of the scenes remind them of the features of their own city. Just so, when I first read 1Q84, it reminded me of Tokyo. If we compare 1Q84 with The Castle, one of the biggest differences between the two is that Kafka never mentions the real place names of Prague, while Haruki Murakami gives his fictional locations their real names. Those who have had the experience of living in Tokyo after the end of World War II will easily notice that all the Tokyo place names in...
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