Murakami Monday: Re-reading Norwegian Wood

I know it’s Tuesday, but alas.

I just finished re-reading Murakami’s most famous title Norwegian Wood. The last time I read this novel I was a teenager and this experience made me realise how much my age frames reading and interpreting the words on the page.

I loved Norwegian Wood when I was still in high school, and I still love it now – but in a different way. When I was younger the story of Toru and Naoko entranced me and I saw them as star-crossed lovers, I thought the depression, the suicide, and the darkness was romantic.
I had totally forgotten about Midori.
Midori – the girl who was present and alive, she was sweet and funny, sad but cheeky, honest and emotional. She was there, she loved Toru for what and who he was – she didn’t control him like Naoko did. Toru was able to communicate with Midori – isn’t that a foundation for love? Whereas Naoko would not even answer his letters or come to the phone.

Naoko was haunting and tortured, but Midori was real. One brings happiness, the other only sorrow.

“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”

Artwork by Edward Hopper

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