Listen to an excerpt from The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito.
- Read it for feelings. All of them. This is an intimate historiography/ethnography of feelings.
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is 36. There’s something about reading fiction that doesn’t speak back to a past you like Drake songs speak back to your late teens; rather, this is the kind of fiction that speaks to a now you, and an always Murakami it seems.
- Pedagogy: Murakami is a master gangster at weaving multiple compelling storylines within a simple story frame/premise. Although this particular novel doesn’t include some of the more fantastical (“magical realist”) elements of say, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, this one still toggles between the past and present and possible so effortlessly, and yes, magically.
- When the novel first released, most reviewers were real quick to call out some of Murakami’s and/or his translator’s weaker, less imaginative sentences and passages. I see it. I get it. But, I dig the play here: there’s something “high art” in every Murakami work, and something so undeniably inviting to mass/popular culture. I know: I shouldn’t make that distinction: high brow, low brow. But, by “high art,” I’m thinking about this in terms of race and class. Who reads translated Murakami works in the U.S.? Anyhow, I dig. I dig. A lot.
- I’d love to talk to someone about this book. Or to meet Tsukuru Tazaki.