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a_wild_sheep_chase

A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami

reading notes from A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami.

Most people, they're trying to escape from boredom, but I'm trying to get into the thick of boredom.

A typical case. Typically, however, people don't think of themselves as typical cases

“It is rather our role to take what unrealistic factors that exist and to work them into a more sophisticated form that might be grounded in the grand scheme of reality. The doings of men run to unrealities. Why is that?”

“To hold down advertising is to have nearly the entire publishing and broadcasting industries under your thumb. There's not a branch of publishing or broadcasting that doesn't depend in some way on advertising. It'd be like an aquarium without water. Why, ninety-five percent of the information that reaches you has already been preselected and paid for.”

“Nameless elves out in the woods have been busy at the spinning wheel.”

We can, if we so choose, wander aimlessly over the continent of the arbitrary. Rootless as some winged seed blown about on a serendipitous spring breeze.

Whether you take a doughnut hole as blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.

There are symbolic dreams=E2=80=94dreams that symbolize some reality. Then there are symbolic realities=E2=80=94realities that symbolize a dream. Symbols are what you might call the honorary town councillors of the worm universe. In the worm universe, there is nothing unusual about a dairy cow seeking a pair of pliers. A cow is bound to get her pliers sometime. It has nothing to do with me.

I think I've gradually lost my sense of time. It's like there's this impossible flat blackbird flapping about over my head and I can't count above three. You'll have to excuse me, but why don't you do the counting?

Maybe it's impossible to live out a life in context.

Time really is one big continuous cloth, no? We habitually cut out pieces of time to fit us, so we tend to fool ourselves into thinking that time is our size, but it really goes on and on.

The “world”—the word always makes me think of a tortoise and elephants tirelessly supporting a gigantic disc. The elephants have no knowledge of the tortoise's role, the tortoise unable to see what the elephants are doing. And neither is the least aware of the world on their backs.

A concept that governs time, governs space, and governs possibility. “To put it in simple terms for you, his was a revolution of labor incorporating capital and capital incorporating labor.”

Quite the contrary. It is cognition that is the fantasy. “The man paused.”Granted, everything I tell you now is mere words. Arrange them and rearrange them as I might, I will never be able to explain to you the form of Will the Boss possesses. My explanation would only show the correlation between myself and that Will by means of a correlation on the verbal level. The negation of cognition thus correlates to the negation of language. For when those two pillars of Western humanism, individual cognition and evolutionary continuity, lose their meaning, language loses meaning. Existence ceases for the individuum as we know it, and all becomes chaos. You cease to be a unique entity unto yourself, but exist simply as chaos. And not just the chaos that is you; your chaos is also my chaos. To wit, existence is communication, and communication, existence.“

“Very probably the sheep found its way into the Boss. That would have been in 1936. And for the next forty years or so, the sheep remained lodged in the Boss. There inside, it must have found a pasture, a birch forest. Like the one in that photograph. What think you?”

If everyone called God, wouldn't the lines be busy all the time? Like directory assistance right around noon.”

God's telephone number.“

Nothing came to mind. With my eyes closed, I could hear hundreds of elves sweeping out my head with their tiny brooms. They kept sweeping and sweeping. It never occurred to any of them to use a dustpan.

Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity. This is something we can pinpoint. Only when it is gone do people realize it even existed.

“Why do boats have names, but not airplanes?” I asked the chauffeur. “Why just Flight 971 or Flight 326, and not the Bell-flower or the Daisy?”

“So let's just say that the basis of naming is this act of conscious identification with living things. Why then do train stations and parks and baseball stadiums have names, if they're not living?”

“Body cells replace themselves every month. Even at this very moment,” she said, thrusting a skinny back of her hand before my eyes. =E2=80=9CMost everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.”

Spiritual communion is not a recognized course of study. Henceforth, I would ask that you amend your ways.

In parts of Northern China and Mongol territory, it's not uncommon to hear of sheep entering people's bodies. Among the locals, it=E2=80=99s believed that a sheep entering the body is a blessing from the gods. For instance, in one book published in the Yuan dynasty it's written that a 'star-bearing white sheep' entered the body of Genghis Khan.

People abandoned by sheep are called the 'sheepless.' All the works of man faded into nothingness, yet still the sheep remained. They stood there, staring at me, eyes flashing in the darkness. Saying nothing, thinking nothing, they only stared and stared—directly at me. Tens of thousands of sheep. The monotonous clacking of their teeth covered the earth.

I was barely awake, but even if I were totally lucid, this—and everything that was happening to me—was far beyond my realm of comprehension. There was almost nothing one could do except let things take their course.

The Sheep Man wore a full sheepskin pulled over his head. The arms and legs were fake and patched on, but his stocky body fit the costume perfectly. The hood was also fake, but the two horns that curled from his crown were absolutely real. Two flat ears, probably wire-reinforced, stuck out level from either side of the hood. The leather mask that covered the upper half of his face, his matching gloves, and socks, all were black. There was a zipper from neck to crotch.

“Welllistenthisisnoordinaryplacewegothere. Thatmuchyoushould keepinmind.”

I filed the word “free will” away in my head and pinched my ear with my left hand. The me in the mirror did exactly the same

There's nothing worse than waking up in total darkness. It's like having to go back and live life all over from the beginning. When I first opened my eyes, it was as if I were living someone else's life. After an extremely long time, this began to match up with my own life. A curious overlap this, my own life as someone else's. It was improbable that such a person as myself could even be living.

“A realm of total conceptual anarchy. A scheme in which all opposites would be resolved into unity. With me and the sheep at the center.”

I tried to sleep, but without success. Who can sleep with such inexpressibleness?

a_wild_sheep_chase.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/18 09:07 by nik