Monday, November 12, 2007

Pahabloki Nerudakami

The LA Times compares and contrasts Pablo Neruda and Haruki Murakami, which is a bit like comparing Chileans poets and Japanese fabulists, but whatever.

In the end, of course, we love and remember writers for how they say things, not for what they say. "That time was like never, and like always. / So we go there, where nothing is waiting; / we find everything waiting there," writes Neruda in Sonnet IV of "100 Love Sonnets," a blissful, hopeful beat that finds an echo at the end of Murakami's splendid tale "A Shinagawa Monkey," in which a woman can't remember her own name and struggles to find out why.

"Things might work out," Murakami tells us. "And then again they might not. But at least she had her own name now, a name that was hers, and hers alone." These writers stun us with their insight and a grace that is worn almost casually.


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