Friday, March 28, 2008

More Distortion of Space & Time

I often toy with the ideas that each personal life might have a pre-determined direction or shape, and other times discard this as nonsense, opting for the more scientific argument of randomness and accident. Perhaps it depends on my level of depression. Still...

The other day I picked up 2 books from the "New Books" shelf at our library. The first, The Blue Door by Andre Brink I chose because of it's size -- small -- and it's lovely blue cover. I had never heard of Andre Bink, a South Afican writer, before. The second book, ghost by Alan Lightman, i chose because I've been a fan of Lightman's ever since his elegant and engaging Einstein's Dreams. So, two very different books, however...
The Blue Door is about an artist, David, who returns to his studio house one day to find a family living there he doesn't recognize. However the woman claims to be his wife, the two children his, and there is mail on the table addressed to both he and his wife. Attempts to return to his original life, the apartment where he and his architect wife live are futile -- the elevators not working logically, and then the building vanishing entirely. David begins role playing his new life with his new family while searching for clues that will solve his delusion. One of the first clues he uncovers is a book his new wife, Sarah, is reading in bed their first night together: Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. Referring to a situation in the book, Sarah says "Can you imagine a thing like that happening? Shifting between dimensions?" David answers, "I think it happens every day."

While I have just cracked ghost, on page 6 Lightman's narrator states: "Somewhere in my apartment there's a novel I would finish if I could bring myself to read. It's a novel by a Japanese writer about an unemployed man who sits at home all day and gets pornographic phone calls from a strange woman." The novel, if my memory serves my correctly, is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by, you guessed it, Murakami.
And Lightman's next sentence is, "It rained friday." Today is friday, and it is raining.

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