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Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables 
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Post Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
Wind - Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami
Chapter 2,
Full Moon and Elclipse of the Sun/ On Horses Dying in the Stables



Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:37 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
Hang on tight everyone. We are in for a heck of a ride as we pop around time like turning the pages of a book back and forth and back further and into the future.


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Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:58 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
Boy this chapter is better than the earlier one. It really has me hooked now. Suddenly here is a simple chapter on marriage - the mundane aspect of its daily existence and the sudden discoveries it sometimes throws up.

Also can someone corroborate about the horses? I didn't know they die in hoards on full moon days. I mean, if it something he has deliberately made up then well, it has to be read in that light. But if it is true, I wonder what did they do back when they had horses for everything. Think of the battles that had to be postponed because of the full moon.



Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:12 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
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Also can someone corroborate about the horses? I didn't know they die in hoards on full moon days. I mean, if it something he has deliberately made up then well, it has to be read in that light. But if it is true, I wonder what did they do back when they had horses for everything. Think of the battles that had to be postponed because of the full moon.


In many places it is lucky to lead a horse through the house; this belief may stem from the association of horses with fertility and crops, which has lasted in form of hobby-horses which were originally part of Beltane (May Day) revels.
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page

It’s not true. But, it may stem from a superstition like the one above. The above superstition mentions fertility and horses. It also mentions MAY, which seems to be a repetitive word in Wind Up. The husband is talking about the menstrual cycle of his wife, (her fertility cycle) and the moon. Horses, like women, have a fertility cycle that may be connected with the cycle of the moon. However, I did find the below article disturbing, and this is no superstition.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/fu ... 39984.html

The husband keeps track of this cycle, I think it’s funny that he looks at the calendar to check where the moon is, and correlates this to his wife’s mood. Before traditional calendars, the moon was used to keep track of the days of the month.

The husband mentions very briefly that the wife was once pregnant, he says it so fast, its easy to miss. He spends more time talking about the preparation of food then he does on the fact that his wife was once pregnant, what happened? But this is a technique that makes Murakami such a great story teller. He does speak about the mundane at length, but then he slips in something peculiar, very sneaky. He does this again, when he mentions that the name of the missing cat, is the same name of the wife’s brother.

There is no doubt in my mind that Murakami is setting the reader up, you certainly have to pay attention. What I have found intriguing is the bizarre connections and repetitions that he makes. For instance, the husband goes to the cleaners and hears music playing. The first song he hears is “The Hawaiian Wedding” song, the next song he hears, is one about Canada. A few chapters later, we listen to Creta telling the story of her sister. The sister once lived in Hawaii, then she moved to Canada. This type of repetitiveness runs through the chapters that I have read so far. Creta also mimics the wife’s words regarding their respective sisters. And of course, water runs through the book, and the missing cat. I have a feeling the missing cat means more than a feline gone missing.

I am enjoying this book tremendously, I was hooked after the first paragraph. Murakami is a great story teller, I can’t wait to get back to it. Theomanic, you picked a winner!



Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:58 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
It seems to me Kumiko is obviously troubled by more than tissue and toilet paper. When I reread this book a while ago, I reflected on the fact that I don't know a lot of my boyfriend's favourite foods. If I had to go grocery shopping for him, it's possible I would get him something he doesn't like. Does that mean I don't know him? Not really - he would be similarly hard-pressed were he to buy toiletries for the house. Merely, the chores are divided so that my boyfriend does the cooking and so knows what both of us like and dislike, and I shop for the drugstore items, and thus know his brand of shampoo, antiperspirant, etc. To really know a person, do you need to know their material needs or their emotional ones? I get the impression Kumiko is upset about a lack of meeting her emotional needs, but it is easier to point out what lacks in the physical world.

I noticed this chapter is when Murakami starts to lay the foundation for the idea of darkness equating to the unknown.

I might be standing in the entrance of something big, and inside lay a world that belonged to Kumiko alone, a vast world I had never known. I saw it as a big, dark room. I was standing there holding a cigarette lighter, its tiny flame showing me only the smallest part of the room. Would I ever see the rest? Or would I grow old and die without ever really knowing her?

Good catch on the pregnancy mention, Suzanne. I had to reread the chapter because I didn't even remember that! I agree, I think Murakami is very skilled at laying on tiny details to create a bigger picture that is so hazy and soft it just leaves an impression you're hard-pressed to explain.

I am glad you're enjoying this book. It's kind of spoiling you because it's the best of his novels in my opinion. But I hope you will still read other books by him because they're excellent. I think my second favourite novel of his is "Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World".


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Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:32 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2- On Horses Dying in the Stables
Suzanne thanks for the lovely information. Isnt that the brilliance of surrealism here. It isnt about whats true or false but about how it affects the reader.

Quote:
The husband mentions very briefly that the wife was once pregnant, he says it so fast, its easy to miss. He spends more time talking about the preparation of food then he does on the fact that his wife was once pregnant, what happened?


Yes I did note that and I know it is going to come up later. Also I think this chapter is so much like a story from Raymond Carver. Did anyone else notice that. A seemingly normal day in the life of a husband and wife and yet something deep, may be dark and problematic buried deep within. I wouldnt be surprised if was deliberate. Like I said else where Murakami was the Japanese translator for Carver.



Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:46 pm
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