Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’


Night Life

April 22, 2009

There are many unique things about this book. At some instances I’d have that great experience of reading something that I had thought many times, except written in such a perfect way that you read it over and over again before going on to the next page. These next two excerpts are examples of that. It was my thoughts right there on the page, the words I could never quite reach when trying to describe the effect of music, the alternate reality I’ve created for myself and what that says about my character…
I’ve never read a book that was crafted quite the way this one was. The reader was always described as a viewpoint, a camera. Each chapter opened up like it would on a movie script. “We allow ourselves to become a single point of view, and we observe her for a time…Our viewpoint takes the form of a midair camera that can move freely about the room.”
This book didn’t have very fancy descriptions or monologues. Most of it was just interesting conversations and confessions between a couple of characters, and when things were described it was just like how a camera would see it. I know I said that before but for me, it was just so unprecedented when at the beginning of every chapter it would open up with something like: “The interior of the same Denny’s as before. Martin Denny’s “More” is playing in the background. The number of customers has decreased markedly from thirty minutes earlier, and there are no more voices raised in conversation. The  atmosphere suggests a deeper stage of night.” Do you see how it’s so simple yet so intricate at once? 

Excerpt #23:
“Are you planning to be a professional musician?”
He shakes his head. “I’m not that talented. I love to play, but I could never make a living at it. There’s a big difference between playing well and playing really creatively. I think I’m pretty good on my instrument. People say they like my playing, and I enjoy hearing that, but that’s as far as it goes. I’m gonna quit the band at the end of the month and basically cut my ties with music.” 
“What do you mean, ‘playing really creatively’? Can you give me a concrete example?”
“Hmm, let’s see…You send the music deep enough into your heart so that it makes your body undergo a kind of a physical shift, and simultaneously the listener’s body also undergoes the same kind of phsyical shift. It’s giving birth to that kind of shared state. Probably.” (88)afterdark
Excerpt #24:
 “You seem to have a good, strong grip on yourself.”
Mari shakes her head. “Not me,” she says. “When I was little, I had no self-confidence at all. Everything scared me. Which is why I used to get bullied a lot. I was such an easy mark. The feelings I had back then are still here inside me. I have dreams like that all the time.”
“Yeah, but I bet you worked hard over the years and overcame those feelings little by little – those bad memories.”
“Little by little,” Mari says, nodding. “I’m like that. A hard worker.”
“You just keep at it all by yourself – like the village smithy?”
“I think it’s great that you can do that.”
“Work hard?”
“That you are able to work hard.”
“Even if I’ve got nothing else going for me?”
Korogi smiles without speaking.
Mari thinks about what Korogi said. I do feel that I’ve managed to make something I could maybe call my own world…over time…little by little. And when I’m inside it, to some extent, I feel kind of relieved. But the very fact I felt I had to make such a world probably means that I’m a weak person, that I bruise easily, don’t you think? And in the eyes of society at large, that world of mine is a puny little thing. It’s like a cardboard house: a puff of wind might carry it off somewhere. (158-159)