Ishi no raireki [The Stones Cry Out]. And a whole bunch of links
The stones cry out is sort of a mind game, really. The main character, a WWII vet, Manase, has settled into his home, started a successful business, fathered two sons and acquired a taste for rock gathering and geology. But despite the outward appearance of normality, he is haunted (and will be even more after the death of his first born – Hirokai) by a war experience: a cave in which a ragged band of soldiers and their commander start killing their weaker comrades. One of the victims is, in fact, the man who first lit the spark of geological interest in Manase, by telling him that the whole history of the world can be seen in the smallest pebble. As the novel progresses, Manase’s life disintegrates: his wife divorces, his second son is estranged, they both blame him for Hiroaki’s tragic end and his dreams and waking visions of the cave start coming back to him more and more. It’s nothing short of descent into madness, trauma and mental torture and we’ll never know what the truth really is. Like most of the Japanese prose I’ve read, Mr. Okuizumi’s is understated, short, efficient – and it fits the subject matter perfectly bringing out the stark contrast between a fairly mundane existence and a terrible unrest of the soul.
Meanwhile, in the big wide world, the Booker long list was announced, Christopher Nolan is doing another movie (and it’s not Batman 3), Mike Judge’s Extract just might be fun, Steven Soderbergh is still around, but you never know for how long, trailers sometimes get good – or at least promising, Sherlock Holmes kicks ass (literally) and Harry Potter 6 seems to be failing the audience test (how else can the weapon carrying rodents be explained? I’m just sayin’…). My rewatching of Aaron Sorkin’s body of TV work is going great (Studio 60 & Sports Night – done; West Wing – up to season 6; even if it’s …not the same ) but I haven’t charged my ipod in a month and I miss my music. Plus – what’s supposed to make The Hangover so funny? I watched and even laughed occasionally, but there weren’t exactly drinks flying out of my nose…
Also, if you’re into that kind of stuff – /Film has a whole list of directors, screenwriters & actors on twitter. Some might actually be worth a look, but I certainly don’t have the patience 😀
I will be missing from the internets for a while, since yesterday the Dune I ordered over at Anthony Frost’s finally arrived. So far, I’ve read 30 pages (out of 800 or so – it’s the trilogy, in one big, heavy book) – progress is slow but undeniable. Things might move along better once I get used to the vocabulary and stop flipping to the Terminology every other 5 minutes.
And hey – can you believe this woman is 45 (as of today)? Because looking at her, I certainly can’t 😀