‘There was something special about the sixties. That seems true now, in retrospect, but even when I was caught up in the whirlwind of it happening I was convinced of it’Haruki Murakami for A Folklore For My Generation
INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS
The story of 1960s, with the blend of magical Beatles and students’ movements, this short story is one of the insightful creations of Murakami‘s. He has delineated the life of the adults in 1960s with the evocative storyline. Moreover, he talks about the boisterous students and their complicated emotions in relationships.
Two high school friends are meeting again in Italy and discussing about their life. The story moves from the outlook of the narrator, he reminisces the story of his friend and parallelly his friend narrates it from another perspective.
‘If you have ever gone to high school, you know the type I mean. There’s somebody like him in every class, the kind that keep things running smoothly’
He introduces the protagonist as a perfectionist, the above lines elucidate the demeanor of the central character, the relationship of the perfectionist and his Miss Clean girlfriend Yoshiko.The girlfriend’s character is as complex as his typical, classic characters, she makes you wince, laugh and cry.
Both friends are talking about their work lives in present, in retrospect, the narrator contemplates about the relationship of his friend and Yoshiko. The emotions are fervent and profound, the story revolves around the deep seated thoughts of Yoshiko and how she panics to marry his friend despite of the excellent wavelength in their relationship, the strong convictions of Yoshiko and how she sets boundaries in the relationship which makes it suffocating for his friend are portrayed in Murakami’s subtle humor narration.
The ending is the bee’s knees in the storyline!! Although the storyline is moving with the dark portrayal of the complicated emotions, the readers strangely feel satisfied in the end, the slapstick humor wafts discreetly from the grim circumstances.
‘It seems to me that very sad things always contain an element of the comical’
His friend talks about his relationship to the narrator and concludes his story by quoting the above lines with an instance of forgotten fairytale. The story vividly captures the absurdity of human lives and the fragile convictions of the young adults, I guess this is one of the best stories in the collection, the human suffering and depth of emotions are brilliantly ventured in the elusive storyline. The writing style is lucid but certainly elusive. Recommending this short story to everyone, Murakamians this should be your next read!