Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mythical Monday

Hello, readers.

There are two new book type releases worth getting excited about--one of which is imminently obtainable, the other less so, unless you happen to speak Japanese.

The former would be China Mieville's The City and the City, which as you may guess, tells the tale of two cities. But, as you may not guess, it tells the tale of two cities which happen to exist in the same place, at the same time. Imagine the Starbucks density. Seriously though, this reminds me of that Hardy Boys super mystery, Time Bomb, in which someone figured out a way to send objects through time so that they materialized in the same space-time location as another object. Seeing as how this would seem untenable to the universe--the universe is, after all, a very reasonable person--something cataclysmic, very much like a giant explosion, would inevitably happen.

This is not what happens in China Mieville's book. According to this review, it sounds much more like an Ian Rankin plotted Borges mystery. It sounds wonderful in other words.

The less imminently obtainable one, would be the new novel, 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami. The Guaradian has a write-up, here. There seems to be some debate as to whether Murakami named 1Q84 in reference to Orwell's 1984 ("the letter Q, when pronounced in English, is a homonym for the number nine in Japanese, pronounced 'kyuu'"), or "in tribute to The True Story of Ah Q, a novella by the Chinese writer Lu Xun, whose work is said to have influenced Murakami." The debate feels rather superfluous to me. For one, it's quite possible Murakami named the book in reference to both, and, for two, it's not clear to me why Murakami would pay tribute to a book by taking one letter of it's title--albeit a name--and sticking that letter within the exact configuration of another well-known book's title. Unless, of course, he meant to reference that book, as well.

But these things are mysterious, I guess. Not as mysterious as giant time traveling robots, though. Few things are.

Happy Monday which may or may not exist, readers.


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