Book One Chapter 4: 天吾:あなたがそれを望むのであれば Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

Hey guys, finally a new thread! Sorry I’ve been lax on this, and for all the empty promises :flushed:.

I’ve been spurred into action by your discussions in the other threads :smiley:. It’s been very interesting to read your thoughts on the characters and the story so far. I’ve never been one to think too deeply about that kind of stuff, and just let the story wash over me, but I do like a deep dive every now and then. I just don’t really know how to think about all that stuff.

I’ve still about twenty pages to go in chapter 2, but I’ll do my best to catch up. The rest of you reading along on schedule, please do not hesitate to post here, I’m don’t mind spoilers, especially since I read all this in english before some years ago. Do use spoiler tags, for plot related thoughts, so other people can choose to not read them.

For those of you paying attention, this thread was supposed to go out on September 12, and the thread for chapter 5 on the 26th. I made that one today, as well.

Now on to the usual business:

Main thread: Hashing out the details for reading Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84 (Intermediate/Advanced Book)

Threads list

Book One Chapter 1: 青豆:見かけにだまされないように Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 2: 天吾:ちょっとした別のアイデア Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 3: 青豆:変更されたいくつかの事実 Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 4: 天吾:あなたがそれを望むのであれば Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 5: 青豆:専門的な技能と訓練が必要とされる職業 Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 6: 天吾:我々はかなり遠くまで行くのだろうか? Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 7: 青豆:蝶を起こさないようにとても静かに Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 8: 天吾:知らないところに行って 知らない誰かに会うHaruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 9: 青豆:風景が変わり、ルールが変わった Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 10: 天吾:本物の血が流れる実物の革命 Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 11: 青豆:肉体こそが人間にとっての神殿である Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
Book One Chapter 12: 天吾:あなたの王国が私たちにもたらされますように Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84

Warnings (read please!)

This story contains themes of an adult and/or sensitive nature, including cults, sex, murder, and sexual abuse of children, both mentioned, and graphic (though not until Book 2, in the latter case).

第4章:天吾:あなたがそれを望むのであれば
Title translation: If that is what you wish

Our character's journey so far. 天吾

Our man had an attack of some sort in a restaurant, where his friend and editor of books, Komatsu, makes him an indecent proposal. He’ll think about it.

Now, poll time:

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading this book, but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’ve finished this part
  • I’m no longer reading the book

0 voters

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I just read through this chapter while my mother was braiding my hair, and my sister was watching Jurassic Park. Two hours of slightly distracted reading, and no notes, but I do have some thoughts:

Fukaeri has an interesting way of speaking. Asking statements or stating questions, short sentences that need translating by Tengo… Not sure what to think of her yet, but she’s not completely tuned in to society’s ways, is she?

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I’ll be devoting some time to this chapter tomorrow! With a bit of luck that’ll mean finishing it so I can read your spoilers. :crossed_fingers:

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Sure seems like she’s not! I like her, or the her we got to see through 天吾’s eyes so far. 天吾’s 予感 has me expecting interesting times for sure!

I can definitely say that this chapter was much nicer to read for me personally than chapter 2. Maybe because I like ふかえり better than 小松? :smiley:

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Just finished the chapter! Here are some thoughts hot off the press:

Chapter thoughts

Interesting to see a bit more of Tengo and his background story (at least some bits related to his love life). Also very indicative that he did not respond to Komatsu for five days (regarding the rewriting plan) and then was annoyed that Komatsu had moved on with the plan already… Reminds me a bit of the (in-)famous “if I don’t look at this issue it will surely go away” strategy :wink:

The hightlight of the chapter is of course him meeting Fukaeri. Her way of speaking is really peculiar, it is mentioned a few times that she speaks with an accent and asks questions without the “question mark” intonation. On top of that, Murakami decided to write her speech only in hiragana and katakana, which also had a big impression of “she does not speak like normal people” to me.
Interestingly, Tengo seemed to copy this somehow, as his speech also seemed to utilize fewer kanji at some point.
And of course we are left with lots of question marks: Who handed in the manuscript? Why does Fukaeri not care about Tengo rewriting it? And who is the mysterious guy he is supposed to meet?

For grammar and stuff, I found one expression that is not even listed in Jisho:
手がある - there is the possibility to do something in this way

Two sentences stood out to me. The first one is a beautiful metaphor, I think:
収穫前にイナゴの群れを畑に送りつけないでくれと、神さまにお願いする農夫のように。

The second sentence impressed me because of its philosophical depth and interesting viewpoint. Tengo says it when he explains why he writes: (I need a bit of context here, but I’m referring to the last sentence.)
小説を書くとき、僕は言葉を使って僕のまわりにある風景を、僕にとってより自然なものに置き換えていく。つまり再構成する。そうすることで、僕という人間がこの世界に間違いなく存在していることを確かめる。

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Since 手 can mean ‘means, way, trick, move, technique, workmanship’ it made sense as is to me. I didn’t event check if it might be an expression. :smiley:

And yes, there are so many unanswered questions! I feel like every time a question gets answered, five more get raised!

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I think I just never internalized that meaning of 手 so far. :upside_down_face:

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