The Ice Man by Haruki Murakami

The Ice-Man by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami

Murakami was born near Kyoto, in 1947 just after the Second World War, son to two teachers of Japanese literature. His paternal grandfather was a Buddhist priest and his maternal grandfather an Osaka merchant.

He started to write at the age o 29. Before that he wrote nothing and ran a jazz club and worked in a bar. His first novel was published in 1979 and brought him success. He has successfully published many novels since then.

I’ve been a fan of Murakami for many years and my favourite book is Dance, Dance, Dance though of course Norwegian Wood and Kafka on The Shore are up there too. I haven’t read all his novels though.

The Ice-Man

This members only story was recored by me in December, appropriate when the weather is cold. How would you describe it? It’s a weird tale, sure enough.

When the Ice-Man first speaks to the female narrator his words appear as a cartoon bubble above his head. But afterwards this isn’t mentioned. Even when he goes to the South Pole and sings and jokes with the South Polers, there is no mention of cartoon bubbles and I guess H M forgot about it.

I get the impression that this is a real stream of consciousness production. He starts with the idea and writes and sees what happens. Works like this (if I’m right) can produce some arresting and beautiful content. But they sometimes lack narrative shape. David Lynch and Noel Fielding, I’m looking at you.

I think this stuff just arose from his subconscious but that afterwards he did a pass over it so that it actually feels like a story rather than a meandering poem.

I like the idea that ice contains now futures but preserves the past. I have no clue what that actually means, but it sounds good

The story: Lonely girl meets weird man. They get together. Family warn her he’s not going to be able to be the ideal husband. In the end, he’s not and she is even lonelier and more isolated than before. Family proved right. Too late!

I first thought it might be about racism, and mixed-race marriages. Then I thought it might be about that kind of relationship that I hear people complain of where the emotional female and the rational male who appears very cold, ultimately can’t communicate even though they love each other. Depressing really.

But then I got to wondering about the source of stories. They are like quantum particles, randomly erupting from the void. The void that is both empty and full of potential. Discuss. I’m sure I shall mumbling to myself late at night in the park. But that’s another story

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1 thought on “The Ice Man by Haruki Murakami

  1. Claire Wilson says:

    This was so very strange! I’ve never read anything by him and don’t really know anything about his writing. But even the story telling seemed “cold” because it’s all so matter of fact. The Ice Man seems to know he shouldn’t go to the South Pole so he must be aware of his own personality traits, right? And that he isn’t frozen in his behavior? It’s just so so bizarre. And I have one nitpick. Surely Murakami could have looked into it and found out there’s no South Pole language. 🤣


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