sábado, 30 de abril de 2011

Crónica del pájaro que da cuerda al mundo

Crónica del pájaro que da cuerda al mundo (Tusquets Editores, 2009)
por Haruki Murakami [traducido del japonés de Lourdes Porta y Junichi Matsuura]
Japón, 1994

"Todo aquello le parecía una escena fantástica, irreal, pintada por un artista con trastornos mentales".
(Crónica del pájaro que da cuerda al mundo, 760)

Tokio, 1984.  Tooru Okada, un treintañero que está sin trabajo, empieza a recibir llamadas telefónicas muy raras.  Primero desaparece su gato y después su mujer.  Sin saber por qué precisamente, es evidente que algo ha radicalmente cambiado en su vida personal.  Dentro de poco, el tipo se pone adentro de un pozo seco en la vecindad para reflexionar sobre todos estos cambios turbulentos.  Problema número uno: en vez de ser un lugar tranquilo para pensar, resulta que el pozo pertenece a un solar abandonado conocido como "la mansión de la horca"  por su mala fama como el lugar donde sucedió el suicidio de una entera familia y aun más mala suerte en los años posteriores.  Problema número dos: tal vez el pozo sea una puerta a otras dimensiones o algo por el estilo.  Así empieza uno de los mejores libros que he leído en este año y probablemente el mejor de todos en cuanto al despliegue de una imaginación sin trabas.  ¡Cómo me entusiasmó éste, mi primer Murakami!  Debo aclarar que no me considero un aficionado a la literatura fantástica para nada.  Sin obstante, la destreza del novelista en describir la realidad, la irrealidad, y el umbral entre los dos mundos era sumamente asombroso.  Además de ser un relato sobre la búsqueda de la esposa Kumiko por el señor Okada, la Crónica del pájaro que da cuerda al mundo es una rica mezcolanza de hilos narrativos, estilos, y temas.  Conforme con una novela donde los personajes incluyen no uno sino dos equipos de videntes, una "prostituta de la mente", y una vecina adolescente que comunica con el protagonista en persona y telepáticamente, no es de sorprender que algunos de los momentos más psiquedélicos de la obra tengan lugar en secuencias oníricas y/o escenas abiertamente surrealistas.  Al mismo tiempo, algunos de los pasajes más llamativos tienen que ver con la presencia de la violencia en la sociedad japonesa: o sea la repentina brutalidad de un hombre moderno que es más o menos pacífico con un bate de béisbol o sea la brutalidad de la Segunda Guerra Mundial (en particular, la violencia de los japoneses contra los chinos en Manchuria y la violencia de los rusos contra los japoneses después del supuesto Incidente Nomonhan).  Una lectura inesperadamente jugosa cuya rareza intrínseca está hecha aun más interesante por una especie de ternura hacia los personajes por parte de Murakami.  Excelente. (http://www.tusquetseditores.com/)

Haruki Murakami

16 comentarios:

  1. Hola, Richard!

    Yo intenté con Tokyo blues y After dark, y la verdad es que no pasé de unas cuantas páginas. Sin ahora quiero leer Murakami! Jaja, digamos que logras convencer muy rápido. Además, tengo visto por ahí el libro, así que...
    Saludos!

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  2. After reading this, I think I'm going to have to add this title to my list. I've yet to read any Japanese fiction, so perhaps this might be a good novel to start with.

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  3. Voy por la mitad de este libro, lo tengo en espera. Tiene de todo un poco, algo de Tokio blues, otro poquito de after... y por su puesto mucho de Crónica....algo novedoso hasta en su narrativa. En la mesa de luz espera y espero-

    saludos

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  4. "Crónica del pájaro..." es EL libro de Murakami. Y para mí fue el mejor libro que leí el año que pasó. El solo hecho que un libro tan extenso se acabe tan rápido, ya dice algo. Me tuvo totalmente atrapado. Ya había leído 3 del japonés antes que éste, pero sin duda "Crónica..." es el mejor. Droga pura.

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  5. He's great, yes indeed. I also really liked the Wild Sheep Chase / Dance Dance Dance duo, which (as I think pretty much all his stuff does) deals with many of the same themes.

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  6. I'm glad your first Murakami was so enjoyable.
    I haven't read this one but some of the elements you mention are also in those I read but this sounds darker, especially the elements on WWII. He is one of a kind really, very original. Not many could pull it of, in other hands his themes could go really wrong but. I think I got this one somewhere, will have to give it a chance soon.

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  7. *Ever: ¡Hola! Qué bueno saber que te lo transmití mi entusiasmo por este librazo tan "exitosamente", jajaja, y que tú vas a dar otra oportunidad a Murakami. Ojalá que te guste. ¡Saludos!

    *Amanda: Although I haven't read much Japanese lit myself, I think this would make a spectacular starting point for you. Quite a wild ride!

    *Mario: Estoy acuerdo contigo que el libro tiene un poco de todo y, especialmente, que hay "algo novedoso hasta en su narrativa". ¿Qué variedad de estilos y tramas, no? ¡Saludos!

    *Pollo: ¡Bienvenido al blog, y gracias por tu comentario! En cuanto a lo que dices aquí sobre Crónica siendo el libro de Murakami por excelencia, no me puedo imaginar leyendo un mejor libro escrito por el japonés. "Pura droga", por completo. Al mismo tiempo, ahora tengo ganas de leer más para averiguarlo cuáles son los otros buenos. ¡Saludos!

    *Emily: The ones you mention seem less frequently mentioned as Murakami's best, so I'm glad to hear that even the less "popular" titles of his rank so highly with you. I was a little worried that the novelist was more hype than real deal based on the overwhelming amount of blog love I've seen for him (i.e. sometimes by people of dubious taste), so this was a real pleasant surprise for me. Will keep your recommendations in mind!

    *Caroline: One of a kind indeed--in fact, I was telling some people at work how much I loved this book and how I probably wouldn't have believed how awesome it was if somebody had described the book to me beforehand. Not quite sure how Murakami pulled it all off but he did. By the way, the WWII sequences are a big part of this work and one of the reasons I loved the book so much overall given how much the reflections on violence were tied up with the various strands of the novel. For sure, one to keep in mind if you do another War and Lit readalong next year!

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  8. Speaking of the readalong, you know this month's choice is Shusaku Endo and it is very short...

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  9. Your dream-logic interpretation makes a lot of sense but I still feel Murakami was using that as an excuse to write a rambling book full of randomness. And I really could have done without that WWII torture-execution scene. Why was that even there?

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  10. *Caroline: While I already have a full slate of other stuff lined up in my head for May, I'll definitely keep the Endo in mind as I'd already noticed it's a short one (and one that sounds interesting). Thanks for the reminder, though!

    E.L. Fay: I like your putdown expression "a rambling book full of randomness," although you already know from my comments over at your blog that the "unexplained parts" in the novel didn't bother me as they did you. I also liked how Murakami, in one of many meta moments in the work, seemed to poke fun at his own predicted lack of clarity as perceived by his readers by bringing up the connection to French New Wave directors who would insert random, weird details into their films, claiming that this sense of mystery heightened the realism in some way. As far as that torture-execution scene goes, I thought it was chilling but brilliant: to me, it was the key to linking the brutality and barbarism of the historical past with the novel's present and a metaphor for the empty vessel Tooru Okada becomes and wages war against in some of the more surrealistic moments toward the end of the novel and a part of the novel's dialogue as to whether we can really shape our own destiny or not. Obviously, you don't have to buy into all these connections or not--but the protagonist does list the various connections between the main characters at least twice in the novel. I took him at his word for this, but the way Murakami filled in all the details was basically mindblowing to me. Great stuff!

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  11. Snif! I don't speak Spanish... I suppose it's "The Wind-up Bird Chronicles" and since I abandoned that book, I would have liked to read your review.

    Tant pis!

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  12. Richard, I'm so glad that you enjoyed this Murakami as much as I did. I can never say with any amount of authority that I completely understand all that he writes about, only that I love immersing myself within his work, his mind, his characters. He creates a truly special world, in my opinion. Now you "must" try Kafka on The Shore which is my very favorite.

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  13. *Bookaroundthecorner: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but Blogger has been acting up this week as you might have heard. In any event, I'll add a translation to the original post or send one to your e-mail so you can enjoy or not enjoy the review!

    *Bellezza: Thanks, Kafka on the Shore (or that nonfiction book about the subway bombings in Japan) will prob. be my next Murakami--and in fact I almost ordered the Spanish copy of it earlier this week but decided to give it more time because I feel like I'm still recovering from the wild ride provided by The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle! While I was initially worried that Murakami might not be my thing at all, I can totally understand your feeling for his universe(s) now that I've had such a rewarding first experience with him. Cheers!

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  14. Sorry for the delay in reading your answer. Don't bother to translate it if you're busy.

    I thought I could use Google to translate your text and I tested it on one of my posts, to see if it could be trusted.
    "Who took the donut from the donut jar" became "Qui a pris l'anneau du pot donut".
    So I gave up the idea or I'm afraid your post would have sounded as surreal as Murakami.

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  15. Me lo apunto. Ya he leído varios del japonés y el que realmente ha balanceado el equilibro hacia el positivo es "Tokio blues". Seguramente este libro sea el próximo que lea de Murakami. Ya son varias las buenas opiniones que he leído de esta novela.

    Saludos.

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  16. *Bookaroundthecorner: Glad we were finally able to exchange notes on this novel. As I think I mentioned to you already, I've found that Google's translation toolbar provides a strange mix of 100% accuracy in places + things that are the total opposite of what people have written. Surreal indeed!

    *La hierba roja: ¡Hola y bienvenida al blog! Creo que voy a leer Kafka en la orilla primero, pero gracias por la sugerencia de Tokio Blues de todos modos (tengo entendido que está buenísima, como me lo has explicado). Mientras tanto, tendré que buscar los varios post sobre Murakami en tu blog. ¡Saludos!

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