Saturday, 21 September 2013

The pencils of Oshima



The writing instrument that represents Oshima, the cross-gender librarian of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, is the pencil: yellow with a rubber at the end, long, slender, always impeccably sharpened, always there by his side or twirling between his middle and index fingers. There is always a stack of long neatly sharpened pencils on his desk. He uses the pencil to encourage, to make a point, to think (by gently pushing the rubber end against his temple), to bid farewell. 
"Where his pencils finish up when they get too short I have no idea." says Kafka whose pencils are usually blunt.

"Oshima picks up a long, sharpened pencil from the counter and gazes at it as if it's an extension of himself. ...

Instead of raising his hand, he lifts his pencil in farewell."

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Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore, Kindle Ed. 2011.

4 comments:

  1. I'm a big (though relatively new) fan of Murakami. I read "1Q84" and "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" last year and just loved them. I've been planning on reading "Norwegian Wood" soon, but after this, I think I need to move "Kafka on the Shore" up on my list. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Andy, I too I'm a recent fan and started with the Wind up Bird Chronicle and moved on to 1Q84. After Kafka comes the Norwegian Wood I think.

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  2. What a wonderful photo! A print of that would look handsome on the wall of a study or library. :)

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