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Such a long day...

The day has been exhaustion upon exhaustion. Wednesdays are a sign of exactly how poor I am at scheduling. Every single one of my classes meets on Wednesday. Add to that a Law Review meeting, the need to plan out my TA session[1], and the ever-present pressure of my Note, and I think I understand why Wednesday evenings are so demotivating. My main goal tonight is to get to bed somewhat early.

One thing I loathe about this whole Note deadline: the guilt. I got back exhausted tonight, and something defiant said, "Screw it. I'm tired, I can't string a sentence together to save my life." So I picked up my copy of Kafka on the Shore, and for the next hour I revelled in the tale of a strange runaway called Kafka and Nakata, the crazy old man who can talk to cats.

Typical of Murakami, Kafka swims in an atmosphere of longing wonder. Similar in structure to Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, its chapters have alternating narrators, switching between first and third person, and tell stories that seem only distantly related. But unlike Hard-boiled, Kafka's stories don't differ as much in style or mood. Both characters are undergoing a similar strangeness, and both seem fractured in ways that feel consistent: you can see how the two stories will "fit" much more easily.

Reading Murakami makes me want to write myself. Though I worry a bit about if I'll have time--the young associate is supposed to have time for nothing but work--there's something in my that would like to use my early law experience as fuel for a novel. Sure, what I know of practice thus far isn't extensive enough to confirm my impressions, but it seems to have some very Murakami qualities to it: an environment with a rigid structure (upon which a more surreal or mythical character can be imposed); a number of characters of varying degrees of normality, helpfulness, and isolation; and mundane qualities that can be made magic. For some reason my heart says that practice is more likely to be a catalyst for whatever creative urges I have than law school is.

But whatever. None of this rids me of the guilt: two hours lost to the novel. I suppose I should sleep, so that tomorrow I may return to the Note.

[1]: At some point, I really ought to describe my classes/projects for the term on this blog. One more item for the to-do list, eh?


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I notice that today's Times Book page features two books about which I've already heard: Kafka on the Shore, which has been A. Rickey's guilty pleasure [Read More]

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