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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

"What I talk about when I talk about running" by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is a Japanese writer whose works (Kafka on the shore; Norwegian wood) I have often seen in shops but never read. This must change. Witawitar is a beautiful read. He reflects about his life as a long distance runner (it even gets quite exciting towards the end when he is wondering whether he will complete the New York Marathon and a Japanese Triathlon) and his life as a novelist.

His prose is simple and sparse and elegant but there are moments of real beauty:
"The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky. The sky both exists and doesn't exist. It has substance and at the same time doesn't. And we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in." page 17

There are also moments of true thought-provoking philsophy:
“When I saw the Charles River again, a desire to run swept over me. .... Time had passed, students had come and gone, I'd aged ten years, and there'd literally been a lot of water under the bridge. But the river remained unaltered. The water still flows swiftly, and silently, toward Boston Harbor. The water soaks the shoreline, making the summer grasses grow thick, which help feed the waterfowl, and it flows languidly, ceaselessly, under the old bridges, relfecting clouds in summer and bobbing with floes in winter - and silently heads toward the ocean."  page 13
"The end of a race is just a temporary marker without much significance. It's the same with out lives. Just because there's an end doesn't mean that existence has a meaning." page 115

I loved this little book.

January 2009; 180 pages

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