Maybe I’m just slow at catching drifts, or maybe I’m just the caboose on a train going on the wrong track, but I’m being pounded with a sense of duality in this novel.
Obviously, the two stories, the two characters, the half shadows, the double natures of lives and time, the each of us half seeking our other half, Oshima’s complex gender, Miss Saeki’s youth and middle-age, dreams and wakefulness, all that; this is a novel about the two sides of everything. But what tipped me off to the importance of this is the repeated description of Nakata’s salt and pepper hair.
Now Nakata is wondering about himself, and what sort of Nakata he would have been had the occurrence on that hill as a young student on a field trip not changed him.
Paths, discussing metaphor, seeking something unknown, feeling a need to move towards something while leaving behind something or even running from it; there’s something to all this and I’m seeing it as the larger riddle of ourselves as we attempt to separate our minds from our bodies to understand the difference between the two that are still inextricably one.
Like I said; maybe I’m just taking one of those trips to no answerland that I tend to enjoy.