1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin,

By Haruki Murakami, Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel

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Sample text

Besides, I wouldn’t be doing it for the money. I’d be doing it to screw the literary world. Those bastards all huddle together in their gloomy cave and kiss each other’s asses, and lick each other’s wounds, and trip each other up, all the while spewing this pompous crap about the mission of literature. I want to have a good laugh at their expense. I want to outwit the system and make idiots out of the whole bunch of them. ” It did not sound like all that much fun to Tengo. ” And when he realized that a competent individual like Komatsu had such childish motives for crossing such a dangerous bridge, he was momentarily at a loss for words.

Komatsu called and said he wanted to get together for a chat. They agreed to meet in a café in Shinjuku (the same one in which they were now sitting). Komatsu told Tengo there was no way his work would take the prize (and in fact it did not). Komatsu himself, however, had enjoyed the story. “I’m not looking for thanks, but I almost never say this to anyone,” he said. ” Tengo promised to do that. Komatsu also wanted to learn about Tengo as a person—his experience growing up, what he was doing now.

His biases played a large role here, but for Komatsu bias was an important element of truth. He never said a great deal, and he hated long-winded explanations, but when necessary he could present his views logically and precisely. He could also be quite caustic if he felt like it, aiming a quick and merciless jab at his opponent’s weakest point. He had very strong opinions about both people and literature; the works and individuals he could not tolerate far outnumbered those he could. Not surprisingly, the number of people who disliked him was far greater than those who thought well of him—which was exactly what he hoped for.

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