This one hundred page little book, if you read it quickly, you can finish it in two or three hours, but its short doesnt mean its reading value is low.
To be honest, I prefer Murakamis essays to his novels. Because his novels have a sense of distance. Murakami used to use the words of Hartfield, a fictitious American writer, to say, to write an article, you must first confirm the distance between yourself and the surrounding things, so what you want is not sensibility, but scale. But in his essays - and especially in his outbound photo travel essays - that sense of distance disappeared.
Among these countries and cities, what impresses me most is his experience in Boston and Iceland.
Lets talk about Boston, which is more familiar to you. There is a street that the village will never forget - the Charles River Trail.
(photo from original)
What kind of street is this?
The Charles River will appear in front of you as you run up and down some of the leafy ramps, past the old brick buildings in the students dormitories of Harvard University. The river meanders gracefully through the lush green, and the long and wide promenade stretches on both sides. Several bridges connect the roads on both sides. Down the river, near MIT, it becomes the natural boundary between downtown Boston and Cambridge. Run here and gradually you will see the Atlantic Ocean.
Facing the world-famous Harvard and MIT, this is probably the most cultural way in the world.
And in summer, its beautiful:
Students at Harvard and Boston University are practicing for rowing. Girls spread towels on the lawn, wear bikinis generously, listen to iPods and sunbathe. The ice cream vendor set up his pickup truck. Someone is singing on the guitar. The dog ran after the frisbee
Do you feel it? Its a kind of beauty of natures uncanny workmanship mixed with strong humanistic and scholarly flavor; its not that kind of beauty that is prohibitive, but that you want to actively participate in. It is in such a street that the author realizes a sense of calm life: I, as a person, live here as one of the irrational beings with little or many things, with no intention - in fact, I have no right to say that I am the end of myself.
Its really interesting and profound.
Because he was invited to the world writers conference, Murakami had the opportunity to visit Iceland. His first feeling when he arrived was a strong sense of emptiness. In addition to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the population here is less than 300000, so there is a sense of emptiness . In Europe, it is also the country with the most empty population density. Just listening to the numbers is enough to imagine: that place is quite open! But in fact, after a look, there were almost no people Driving all the way forward, I will neither meet the vehicle nor see a figure.
This kind of experience is really hard to imagine for urban people living in cities.
In addition to the emptiness, Iceland, which is cold from its name to its climate, is full of warmth in the authors works.
For example, although its location is infinitely close to the Arctic Circle, winter nights are long. In the north, the sun only comes out for about two hours in a day, and the rest of the day is either dark or dim, just a little thick and thin. but this long winter day nourishes Icelanders habit of reading. For people in this country, singing (singing together), writing poems, writing novels and painting with a pen have probably become such things Part of life. In the ice and snow, there is a pleasure.
In addition to the spiritual warmth, Icelands hot springs also bring cold and cool temperatures. How many hot springs in Iceland can make a Japanese from the country of hot springs marvel? Murakami said, the amount of steam from the hot spring even makes people think its better to use it as a national flag pattern.
The author introduces the most famous hot spring Blue Lake in Iceland, which is as big as a lake. No kidding. Its really huge. In a hot spring as big as a small lake, people wear swimsuits to go into the water. The hot spring water around cant be seen at a glance. Under Icelands clean sky, the light blue Lake is warm and steaming with pleasant mist.
(photo from original)
Its hard for a country built with books and hot springs to keep a Japanese writer from moving. Besides, its a happy place for cat lovers.
Readers who like Haruki Murakami know that he loves cats very much. Every time he goes to different countries, he will carefully observe the appearance and temperament of cats there. he is a typical meow star man. Icelandic cats are particularly impressive to him. They are calm in character and have low vigilance towards people.
First of all, compared to the population, the number of cats in Iceland is terrifying Walking in Reykjaviks streets, we often meet cats. All of them are big, bright and tidy, and they are very intimate with people. They all wear collars with their names written on them. Its easy to see whose cat is loved by its owners. These cats are more free to walk in the street. And when I (in Japanese) said come here, I really came here.
Just walking on the street is peace of mind, the author sincerely sighs.
In a word, what you see in this book is not the prosperous sceneries in travel strategy and travel company propaganda, but the sceneries that are very life-style and grounded, so that you want to live in other places as your hometown. Whats more, what you see here is no longer a Murakami tree with a sense of distance and ambiguity. What we see is a cute uncle Murakami tree!