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And when I awoke, I was alone: Personal Identification, Memory and Music in

Murakami’s Norwegian Wood

I find myself somewhat paralyzed attempting to examine Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian

Wood and what it has meant to me. When inspecting a text that holds such personal value and

attempting to analyze it, there seem to be hurdles at every step, and it is as if I am equipped with

feeble legs and an inadequate sense of balance. How can I hope to separate myself from a text

that has forever colored my memory and changed it, irreversibly? Can I even examine such a

personally precious work of fiction objectively? Or am I placing too much importance on the

objective in critical analysis; rather, is there some answer to be found in my basic inability to

separate my experiences from the fictional characters’ experiences? Is there a certain type of

critical reading that can benefit from my assumption of the subject-position role in writing about

my memory? How is it that this particular piece of fiction can mean so much and be so

powerful? I think the best I can do is attempt to strike a balance between the personal and the

objective: by examining Murakami’s biography as well as his connection to music and the

influences music has on his writing and juxtaposing these elements with my own history,

perhaps I can arrive at a conclusion that, although no doubt messy, may help me to put my

experiences into a more definable context. Or perhaps I’ll end up more confused than ever,

frantically grasping at memories and attempting to hold onto them while they are in the process

of fading. Perhaps these attempts are all in vain, but there is a reason why Murakami’s novel has

stayed with me, beyond circumstance and beyond personal identification. I hope to find out why

this work of fiction holds such importance for me, all the while aware that I am dangerously

teetering on the edge of complete personal immersion. Here’s hoping I don’t fall in.
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Born in Kyoto, Japan January 12, 1949, Haruki Murakami was the son of two high school

teachers. His father, Chiaki, a Kyoto Buddhist priest for some years, and mother, Miyuki, a full-

time housewife after marriage, were both fairly politically liberal, and overall gave their son a

significant amount of freedom (Rubin 13-14). An insatiable reader even in childhood, Murakami

chose works by Stendhal, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky over Japanese classics. During high school,

his reading branched out to Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Kurt

Vonnegut. Due to its status as an international trading capital, Kobe had many bookstores

featuring a prominent selection of second-hand paperbacks from foreign residents. According to

Murakami, “What first attracted me to American paperbacks was the discovery that I could read

books written in a foreign language. It was such a tremendously new experience for me to be

able to understand and be moved by literature written in an acquired language” (Rubin 16).

The fact that this “acquired language” was English proved to be more or less

unavoidable. Murakami began his life during the American occupation of Japan, and he grew up

during a time in which America was greatly admired for its prosperity and culture. His early-on

exposure to American music would become a prominent feature in both his life and work. He

initially listened to American rock ’n’ roll on the radio, but it was after hearing Art Blakely and

the Jazz Messengers at a live concert in 1964 that Murakami began skipping lunch to save

money for jazz records.

Initially planning to study Law but failing the first round of examinations, Murakami

discovered he was much more interested in literature after reading the opening passage from

Truman Capote’s short story, “The Headless Hawk” in an examination preparation book. He

passed the exam for the Department of Literature at Waseda University in Tokyo.
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According to Murakami, “I didn’t study in high school, but I really didn’t study in

college” (Rubin 20), choosing instead to attend jazz clubs in the Shinjuku entertainment district

or in the bars around Waseda. Haruki also met his future wife, Yoko Takahashi, at Waseda in

April 1968. Murakami’s time at Waseda University was significantly colored by the political

tension and general student discontent. Although he never actively participated in collective

action, stating he “. . . enjoyed the campus riots as an individual. I’d throw rocks and fight with

the cops, but I thought there was something ‘impure’ about erecting barricades and other

organized activity, so I didn’t participate” (Rubin 22-23). Participation levels aside, Murakami

was understandably affected by the politics of the time. According to Rubin,

Later, when Murakami began to write his fictional history of the era, there would be the

time before and the time after: the promise of 1969, and the boredom of 1970. The

student movement in Japan and the rest of the world collapsed at almost the same time; it

is this almost universal sense of loss that captured readers of Murakami’s generation in

and beyond Japan, and continues to attract readers too young to have experienced the

events themselves, but who respond to the lament for a missing “something” in their lives

(24).

After receiving an undergraduate degree from Waseda University after seven years of on

and off study, Murakami, along with his new wife, Yoko, decided to open a jazz club, “Peter

Cat.” In addition to providing an outlet for his love of jazz, “Murakami is convinced that if it

hadn’t been for those years in the bar he would never have become a novelist. He had time to

observe and to brood, and he believes that ‘the hard physical work gave me a moral backbone’”

(Rubin 27). This experience provided him with “ideal perspective on the evolution of Tokyo’s

bored-but hyper youth culture that was then emerging” (Gregory 111).
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Given his love affair with music, it is no surprise that melodies permeate all of

Murakami’s work. As explained by frequent Murakami translator and fan Jay Rubin,

For Murakami, music is the best means of entry into the deep recesses of the

unconscious, that timeless other world within our psyche. There, at the core of the self,

lies the story of who each of us is: a fragmented narrative that we can only know through

images . . . the novelist tells stories in an attempt to bring out the narrative within; and

through some kind of irrational process these stories send reverberations to the stories

inside each reader (Rubin 2).

Murakami supplies a soundtrack of sorts for Norwegian Wood, ranging from The Beatles’ titular

song, Norwegian Wood, which the character Naoko says makes her “. . . imagine myself

wandering in a deep wood. I’m all alone and it’s cold and dark, and nobody comes to save me”

(109), to the Kyu Sakamoto classic, “Sukiyaki.” Most of the music featured in the text carries

sentimental connotations: “. . . indeed, the tone of the entire book resembles nothing so much as

a sweet, sad pop tune” (Rubin 153).

It’s difficult to verbalize the power of music and the sense of nostalgia that often comes

with it, precisely because there is such sentiment in an affecting song. Feelings are not meant to

be put into words, and Murakami understands this more than anyone. He understands the ability

of a song to transport a person back to a time in his or her past. His detailed employment of

songs that are familiar to many and simplistic in their eminence creates an overall atmosphere of

longing—of ache—that, in my opinion would not be possible to create without his mentions of

music. In describing the necessary qualities of a good pop song, Rubin explains “. . . it has to

use conventional ideas and images and musical turns to appeal to a wide audience but at the

same time manage to say something true about human experience” (Rubin 153). Similarities can
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be found in Norwegian Wood; Murakami’s most popular novel to date, it inspired legions of

followers, including “The Norway Tribe,” a term describing “. . . young girls dedicated to the

book who want to talk more seriously about love and how to live” (Rubin 160). Indeed,

Norwegian Wood has appealed to a massive audience through its truth about the human

experience.

Not only is music vital for Murakami’s prose, but it also directly influenced his writing

style. Murakami explains that without music, he might not have become a novelist. In fact, he

claims that almost everything he understands about writing, he learned from music. Even thirty

years after his initial novel, Murakami writes that he is still learning an impressive amount of

knowledge about writing from quality writing. He explains,

Whether in music or in fiction, the most basic thing is rhythm. Your style needs to have

good, natural, steady rhythm, or people won’t keep reading your work. I learned the

importance of rhythm from music — and mainly from jazz. Next comes melody —

which, in literature, means the appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm.

If the way the words fit the rhythm is smooth and beautiful, you can’t ask for anything

more. Next is harmony — the internal mental sounds that support the words. Then comes

the part I like best: free improvisation. Through some special channel, the story comes

welling out freely from inside. All I have to do is get into the flow. Finally comes what

may be the most important thing: that high you experience upon completing a work —

upon ending your “performance” and feeling you have succeeded in reaching a place that

is new and meaningful. And if all goes well, you get to share that sense of elevation with

your readers (“Jazz Messenger”).


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Although he had always entertained the idea of writing as a career, it wasn’t until he

attended a baseball game in April 1978 that he became convinced that writing could be his

future. According to the oft-repeated story, when baseball player Dave Hilton hit a double at the

bottom of the first inning, Murakami realized that he could write a novel. Describing the

experience to an audience at Berkeley University, Murakami explains, “. . . it was like a

revelation, something out of the blue. There was no reason for it, no way to explain it. It was

just an idea that came to me, just a thought. I could do it. The time had come for me to do it”

(Rubin 30). Immediately following the game, Murakami went to a stationary store and bought a

fountain pen and paper. Completing the novel after six months, he submitted the piece to Gunzō,

a literary magazine that offers prizes to new writers. The manuscript, Hear the Wind Sing, won

him the Gunzō Newcomers Award for 1979.

Murakami followed Hear the Wind Sing with the novel, Pinball, 1973. However, it

wasn’t until his third novel, A Wild Sheep Chase, that Murakami began to confirm his

distinctiveness: “. . . hallucinatory, surrealistic, full of narrative digressions and unexplained

mysteries, it features gangsters, a man in a sheep costume and a girl whose unusually beautiful

and super-sensitive ears confer extraordinary pleasures” (Williams). Murakami continued in this

surrealistic vein with his next novel, A Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World,

published in 1985. It was his next novel, Norwegian Wood, which would mark a significant

departure from his prose of melded fantasy and reality. Murakami explains,

. . . I next wrote a straight boy-meets girl story called Norwegian Wood after The Beatles’

tune. Many of my readers thought that Norwegian Wood was a retreat for me, a betrayal

of what my works had stood for until then. For me personally, however, it was just the
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opposite: it was an adventure, a challenge. I had never written that kind of straight,

simple story, and I wanted to test myself (Rubin 149-50).

Norwegian Wood opens with the 37 year-old narrator, Toru Watanabe, hearing an

orchestral cover of the popular Beatles’ song of the same name playing over a plane’s ceiling

speakers. Toru explains, “. . . the melody never failed to send a shudder through me, but it hit

me harder than ever.” The music changes to a different tune, but Toru is left “. . . thinking of

what I had lost in the course of my life; times gone forever, friends who have died or

disappeared, feelings I would never know again . . . I could smell the grass, feel the wind on my

face, hear the cries of the birds. Autumn 1969, and soon I would be twenty” (3). He is

transported back to “that day in the meadow” eighteen years earlier, and despite the time that has

passed, he can “. . . still bring back every detail” (4). He recalls what Naoko was describing that

day in the meadow, a dangerous well that cannot be seen but has the ability to swallow a person

whole and in essence ensure a slow and painful death. He also remembers Naoko’s request that

she not be forgotten. Now,

. . . clutching these faded, fading imperfect memories to my [Toru’s] breast, I go on

writing this book with all the desperate intensity of a starving man sucking on bones.

This is the only way I know to keep my promise to Naoko . . . now, though, I realize that

all I can place in the imperfect vessel of writing are imperfect memories and imperfect

thoughts. The more the memories of Naoko inside me fade, the more deeply I am able to

understand her. I know, too, why she asked me not to forget her. Naoko herself knew, of

course. She knew that my memories of her would fade. Which is precisely why she

begged me never to forget her, to remember that she had existed (10).
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The reader is immediately transported back to Toru’s young adulthood, and although

there are instances of hindsight in his narration, the remainder of the novel takes place during

this time in his life that seems to have maintained a hold on him, even almost twenty years later.

Shortly after starting university in Tokyo, Toru runs into Naoko on the Chuo commuter line,

almost a year since he had last seen her. They begin a tentative friendship, filled with silence

and inhibited by their shared loss. Kizuki, Toru’s only friend during high school and Naoko’s

boyfriend since childhood, committed suicide when he was seventeen years-old. Leaving behind

neither note nor motive, Kizuki instead leaves only questions that can never be answered. Bound

by this tragedy, Toru and Naoko are at the same time separated by it: their reactions to the

suicide and their transformations as a result of it are as individual as they come. Toru seems

somewhat desperate to uncover Naoko’s conversion, while Naoko seems unable to see very far

beyond her own experiences. Of course, this could be simply a fault of first-person narration: the

reader is given an inside look into Toru’s mind, while only shown observations of Naoko.

Despite this possibility, Naoko does seem to be rather cut off from others, travelling deeper into

her own psyche. Similar to her description of the well on the memorable day that Toru first

revisits, “. . . it was deep beyond measuring, and crammed full of darkness, as if all the world’s

darknesses had been boiled down to their ultimate density . . . you die there in this place, little by

little, all by yourself” (6).

The beginning of their new friendship culminates in Naoko and Toru sleeping

together on Naoko’s twentieth birthday. Naoko begins to cry as if “vomiting on all fours,” and

Toru’s only solution is to embrace Naoko. This embrace turns into sex, and even twenty years

after the act, Toru still wonders if sleeping with Naoko was the right thing to do. The reader gets

the sense that he will continue to question the implications, with no hope for an answer.
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Naoko eventually ends up in a sanitarium of sorts in the hills outside Kyoto. Meanwhile,

a fellow classmate, Midori, befriends Toru. Midori seems, for all intents and purposes, to be the

opposite of Naoko. Opinionated and lively, Toru describes her to be like “a small animal that

has popped into the world with the coming of spring.” However, his thoughts lie primarily with

Naoko. After visiting Naoko and her equally troubled but extremely charming roommate, Reiko,

at the sanitarium twice, Toru begins to make plans regarding his future with Naoko. Describing

his plans to forego dormitory life for an apartment, he expresses his wish that Naoko move in

with him, explaining to her that the longer she stays in the sanitarium, the more difficult it will be

for her when she is finally ready to leave (Murakami 238). Naoko fails to give him a reply, and

although Toru interprets this as initial hesitation, the reader cannot help but feel that there is

more to Naoko’s silence than simple indecision. After failing to hear back from Naoko in their

traditional correspondence, Toru is left waiting for letters from both Naoko and Midori. Midori,

fed up with Toru’s insensitivity and carelessness regarding their fragile relationship and her

feelings, refuses to speak to Toru. Hoping for forgiveness and a response, Toru writes to Midori,

attempting to apologize for his behavior but offering no explanations for his actions. After

spending his “whole spring break waiting for letters” (243), Toru finally receives a letter from

Reiko, writing on Naoko’s behalf. Reiko describes Naoko’s worsening condition, starting with

the first symptom, her inability to write letters. At this point, Naoko is hearing voices, and as a

result, “. . . she can’t find the right words to speak, and that puts her into a terribly confused state

—confused and frightened. Meanwhile, the ‘things’ she’s hearing are getting worse” (245).

Toru is devastated by this news. He spends “. . . three straight days after that all but

walking on the bottom of the sea . . . my whole body felt enveloped in some kind of membrane,

cutting off any direct contact between me and the outside world. I couldn’t touch ‘them,’ and
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‘they’ couldn’t touch me (247). Toru begins to grasp that Naoko may never heal; yet, at the

same time, he assumes that she will become better, if not completely so. He states that all he can

do is to wait for Naoko to recover, but he does not seem to address the possibility that this

recovery may in fact never occur.

Midori and Toru eventually reconcile and both admit their love for each other, but Toru

explains he can’t make a move—because of Naoko and his “responsibility in all this as a human

being” (263).

Toru finds himself if not at a chasm then at a crossroads. In one direction is the “quiet

and gentle and transparent love” he feels for Naoko, a stalled love with an unhappy

present and an uncertain future. In the other is Midori, who inspires in Toru a feeling that

“stands and walks on its own, living and breathing and throbbing and shaking me to the

roots of my being.” And cruising beneath is the memory of Kizuki, eternally seventeen,

inviting Naoko and even Toru to opt out of adulthood (Nimura).

The reader is informed of Naoko’s suicide suddenly and without ceremony. Although

there always seems to be impermanence to Naoko’s character, as if she was not meant to stay for

long, Murakami almost sidesteps telling the reader, relaying the news of her death as more of an

afterthought; Toru writes, “Reiko wrote to me several times after Naoko’s death” (271).

Through the employment of such indirectness, Murakami echoes the suddenness of death. Even

if Naoko always seemed somewhat on the periphery of death, death is always sudden. Upon

hearing this news, Toru holes up in a movie theater for three days and then immediately takes the

first express train he can find. The names of the places where he travelled to he cannot recall,

although he has a memory of the sights, sounds and smells. He spends a month of hiking,

subsisting on a diet of whiskey, bread and water. Upon his return to Tokyo, he is . . . overcome
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with a sense of my own defilement . . . I did nothing for days but shut myself in my room. My

memory remained fixed on the dead rather than the living. The rooms I had set aside in there for

Naoko were shuttered, the furniture draped in white, the windowsills dusty. I spent the better

part of each day in those rooms” (276). Shortly after his return to Tokyo, and most fortunately,

Toru receives a letter from Reiko, expressing her worry over not hearing from him and her

request that he call her at the sanitarium. They decide to meet in Tokyo, and hold their own,

personal funeral for Naoko. Playing a selection of songs on her guitar that Naoko especially

loved and taking requests from Toru, Reiko plays fifty-one songs altogether. After, they sleep

together, a total of four times. Reiko leaves the next day, telling Toru, “. . . just be happy. Take

my share and Naoko’s and combine them for yourself” (293).

The final paragraph is one that haunts me to this day. Calling Midori and expressing to

her that he wants to begin “everything” with her, Toru attempts to answer Midori’s question of

“Where are you now?”

Gripping the receiver, I raised my head and turned to see what lay beyond the telephone

booth. Where was I now? I had no idea. No idea at all. Where was this place? All that

flashed into my eyes were the countless shapes of people walking by to nowhere. Again

and again, I called out for Midori from the dead center of this place that was no place

(293).

I, too, have found myself calling out from an indefinable place. It’s difficult to reread a

text that at one point so completely defined a personal experience; to discover that certain lines

no longer provide kicks in the gut or humming in the heart; because that means something has

been lost, feelings have been buried or ignored to a point of eventual disappearance; because that

means that I have grown, and that I have lost myself along the way. Rereading Norwegian
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Wood, I am left with an incredible feeling of hollowness—an emptiness even greater than my

initial experiences with the text, when Murakami’s prose had left me feeling vacant and drained

because they had stirred emotions that I had assumed could never be defined. My eyes travel

over the sentences I had previously underlined, little pieces that seemed to speak to my soul, and

my response does not seem to be what it should be. These lines no longer speak to me as they

once did. I remember the emotions well enough; I have, after all, lived a rather short life so far,

so memory, with its many failings, has not yet noticeably taken its toll. I can conceptualize the

emotions of my past, but I can’t feel them. It’s heartbreaking to attempt to define what changes

have occurred in me, why these lines, at one time so perfectly complete, no longer touch me like

they used to. Yet at the same time, I have never been able to write about those last few days—

that ever-too-short period of time when my makeshift high school family left, and I was left

standing in an airport with only memories. Perhaps I needed to change before I could examine

what had happened and what version of me resulted from my experiences; perhaps I needed to

become harder, more cynical, and less sensitive. As Toru states in the first chapter of Norwegian

Wood,

Once, long ago, when I was still young, when the memories were far more vivid than

they are now, I often tried to write about Naoko. But I was never able to produce a line.

I knew that if the first line would come, the rest would pour itself onto the page, but I

could never tell where to start—the way a map that shows too much can sometimes be

useless. Now, though, I realize that all I can place in the imperfect vessel of writing are

imperfect memories and imperfect thoughts (10).

So perhaps this is the deal I needed to strike: I needed to lose myself before I allowed myself to

remember. Now that I have finally written out my first sentence, I feel as if I can’t stop. I am
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clutching this book, that at one point saved me in a sense, and I try to remember, all the while

trying not to blame myself for what I’ve forgotten.

During my junior and senior years of high school, I attended Nacel International High

School, a school where I was one of three to four Americans. Surrounded by people from

different countries who had left their homes and families for a place completely unknown to

them, I forged some of the most unique relationships of my life—relationships that ended,

somewhat cruelly, before they had even been given the chance to truly flourish. Junior year

came and went, and while I was left picking up the pieces left by those who had returned to their

home countries with little possibility of returning, senior year arrived. Another entirely different

group of people enrolled, and if possible, I created more seemingly-familial bonds than I had the

year before. With the absence of family members, most of the international students had only

each other to turn to, and I consider myself completely fortunate in that I was included into the

development of this make-shift family. I do not think the relationships we formed are remotely

typical for high school experiences: the school’s small size prevented the formation of cliques or

a hierarchy of popularity, and since all the students were completely different in background it

proved to be a learning experience more than anything. Although this intimacy made the pain

greater when it was taken away, I find myself feeling nothing but grateful for the events that

happened. Of course, this is all said in hindsight. Now, I can appreciate and feel grateful for

what was given to me. Yet, at the time, I could not see past my absent friends, and it was during

this painful period that Norwegian Wood re-entered my life. It spoke to me, as no novel has ever

spoken to me before or since. I realize that this could be entirely circumstantial, that my

loneliness and possibly misplaced sense of being abandoned made it more than likely that any

book containing the elusiveness and all-consuming tendencies of loss would seemingly be
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directed towards me specifically. All the same, circumstances or no, Norwegian Wood provided

me with such a necessary outlet that I cannot separate my experience during that time from the

novel. They are forever intertwined. My memories of the last days at the airport, when the

number of people decreased until it was just me, will always have a slight hint of a melody, and I

have Murakami to thank for that.

What is it about this novel that is so affecting? It’s quite possible that the overall

autobiographical feeling of the text, a sense that Toru is confessing sincerely to the reader and to

the reader alone, gives the book an intimacy that one cannot help but be affected by. When Toru

describes the “desperate intensity” in which he is writing the book, it is almost as if the reader is

“present at the process of composition, as if the book were a long intimate letter addressed to us

alone” (Rubin 152). The fact that Toru feels he almost has no choice in writing his memories

down—he needs to write to remember—creates a sense of urgency that the reader cannot help

but share. Fear of forgetting is a sentiment I have felt myself, and I am sure I’m not alone in this

experience: it is an understanding shared by humanity. It is the never-ending fight against time,

and we are all doomed to lose. Although it has erased both details and emotions, the fact that the

Toru is writing with eighteen years of hindsight enhances both his storytelling capabilities and

the overall sense of importance these few years have had on his life. The reader gets the

impression that he has never gotten over his experience with Naoko, and eighteen years have

done nothing to eradicate the pain of losing his friend.

Norwegian Wood is indeed written echoing the imperfection of memory. Characters are

presented without proper introduction; events are described out of order; details are left out; an

element of surrealism colors each relayed experience—the reader is left wondering, along with

Toru, if “all the truly important memories” have been left behind. Moreover, I found myself
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questioning the effect of the eighteen years that have passed, how much of Toru’s perception of

what has occurred has been tainted by hindsight and contaminated with regret. There is no

answer to these queries, and Murakami does not attempt to provide the reader with even a hint.

Murakami instead presents an extremely convincing portrait of recollection that is lacking in

both confidence and entirety. In my opinion, it is his ability to represent the inconsistency of

memory that proves to be one of the most moving aspect of his prose.

While I feel slightly silly and perhaps even naïve comparing my own, rather mundane

experiences with a novel that contains three suicides—losses that can never be mended and never

explained, I know I’m not alone in my identification with the novel. Everyone has experienced

loss—it is a constant of life, and it is an element that seems to unite people regardless of their

individual differences. Loss can come in all forms, whether is be the more concrete example of

death or the passage of time that no doubt affects both personality and relationships. The loss of

innocence, unavoidable if one is to grow older and live, proves to be a traumatic and life-altering

experience; a person never really returns from this kind of loss. Regardless of what type of

bereavement, loss is continuous. Murakami describes it beautifully—its transcendence; its

emotion; its power. Loss does not need to be completely similar to be significant, and perhaps

the protagonist Toru’s immense, slightly more tangible loss, provides a sounding board for other

loss that is harder to define but all the same substantial.

Examining Murakami’s personal as well as his literary biography, along with inspecting

the role of music in his work and writing process, I find I have managed to distance myself

slightly from the text and to look past my own personal identification with the novel. However,

this distance remains minor, and I don’t think I’ll ever read Norwegian Wood with a completely

objective eye. Initially, I was frustrated by this intimacy with the text, by my inability to see past
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myself; in all honesty, writing this paper involved more than one complete rewrite because I was

simply talking too much about myself. However, I think there is something to be said for a book

that inspires personal attachment like mine. Through my assumption of the subject-position role,

I identify along with Toru, feel what he feels, and ache for what he has lost—most likely not the

most critical interpretation, but an interpretation nevertheless. I still don’t understand the overall

effect my time at Nacel International School has had on me; I seem to have only scratched the

surface. It is the best I can offer at this point; perhaps in eighteen years, it will all become clear.

Perhaps I will write with all the desperate intensity of a starving man sucking on bones.

Something to look forward to. Something to dread.

Works Cited
Gregory, Sinda, Toshifumi Miyawaki and Larry McCaffery. "It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't

Got That Swing: An Interview with Haruki Murakami." Review of Contemporary Fiction

22 (2002): 111-19.

Murakami, Haruki. “Jazz Messenger.” Trans. Jay Rubin. New York Times 8 July 2007

Murakami, Haruki. Norwegian Wood. Trans. Jay Rubin. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.

Nimura, Janice P. “Rubber Souls.” New York Times 24 Sept. 2000.

Rubin, Jay. Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. London: Harvill Press, 2002.

Williams, Richard. “Marathon Man.” The Guardian 17 May 2003.


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