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Ch. 13 - Lieutenant Mamiya's Long Story: Part II 
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Post Ch. 13 - Lieutenant Mamiya's Long Story: Part II
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami

Chapter 13,
Lieutenant Mamiya's Long Story: Part II

Last Chapter of Book One: The Thieving Magpie (June and July 1984)


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Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 13 - Lieutenant Mamiya's Long Story: Part II
"Certain things will always remain as riddles, of course"

This is something that Murakami takes to heart! Sometimes I have heard complaints that his stories are so open-ended. I don't know what to say to that. I like to know what's going on, but I don't want to have everything tied up with a bow. Usually Murakami has a good balance of that, though usually a little less information is given than I would hope. Of any of you have read "Number 9 Dream" by David Mitchell, that is the sort of open ending that I do not like quite so much... though to be fair, it's only a little more open than Murakami (and even that may just be my perception).

"I feel as if, in the intense light that shone for a mere ten or fifteen seconds a day in the bottom of the well, I burned up the very core of my life, until there was nothing left. That is how mysterious that light was to me."

If darkness in this story is the unknown, I suppose it would stand to reason that light is knowledge. Then what might this statement mean? I'm not certain and I am wary of looking for too much where there is only so much.


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Post Re: Ch. 13 - Lieutenant Mamiya's Long Story: Part II
Theomanic wrote:
"Certain things will always remain as riddles, of course"

"I feel as if, in the intense light that shone for a mere ten or fifteen seconds a day in the bottom of the well, I burned up the very core of my life, until there was nothing left. That is how mysterious that light was to me."

If darkness in this story is the unknown, I suppose it would stand to reason that light is knowledge. Then what might this statement mean? I'm not certain and I am wary of looking for too much where there is only so much.


This is yet another place where I intentionally tried to not read-in symbolism. I did that because I did not want to approach the book as if it were out of the moderinity tradition. However, I now think I was wrong. Later, Murakami will write some stuff that is self-referential, stuff about how to read the book, that makes me now think that it is legitimate to at least follow the more obvious symbols like the ones you mention.

The Mamyia war story is a micro-novel. It tells us a lot about what and not much about why--just like Wind-up Bird read as a single story.


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