Friday, November 11, 2011

The grip of randomness

The story I heard over dinner:  S. notices that the young man in front of her has dropped his wallet. She stops to pick it up, but now the traffic swells, the man has crossed the street and she must wait for cars to pass. With his wallet in hand, she hurries to catch up. The man is walking so quickly, she begins to run. Finally, she follows him into a doorway and calls out. He is surprised and grateful.   The end.   It could easily have been a great beginning to a much bigger story. I was disappointed the story didn't continue, didn't grow more detailed and colorful and complex. I'm fascinated by the role of randomness in our lives.

I've just started reading the magical work of Haruki Murakami. His ability to graft randomness (often surreal) into his work is addictive.

Below, four excerpts from separate short stories in the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami.

He had a really nicely shaped ear. It was on the small side, but the earlobe was all puffy, like a freshly baked madeleine.

A friend of mine has a habit of going to the zoo whenever there's a typhoon.

Thinking about spaghetti that boils eternally but is never done is a sad, sad thing.

The two of us simply held each other in the darkness, sharing that enormous ice, inside of which the world's past, millions of years' worth, was preserved.

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