The WEIRD (19)

Real-Time Review continued from HERE.

The WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
First published in Great Britain 2011 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.

27/11/11 – another 2 hours later

The Ice Man – Haruki Murakami

I don’t think travelling is all that great, but I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy,…”

I have made no secret of the fact – Ice Men don’t – that I was reading and writing comments on this author’s three novels with the overall title: 1Q84 when I first received ‘The WEIRD’ and started its real-time review.  I finished them about two weeks ago, I think. The Ice Man here reminds me of Fuka-Eri and the way she made sex: and the Ice Man seems to be like Leena Krohn’s insects – not an insect but something else indefinably the same as an insect – here not an Ice Man but is an Ice Man nevertheless – and the two moons in 1Q84 seem relevant, too, with the Iceman, I don’t know why, and the bonfire with the  moon in Leena Krohn also resonates – and, still, perhaps slightly more clearly, ice, snow, frost etc here are reminiscent, strangely, of the properties  of soot in ‘The White Wyrak’ – and of the world’s first blank story in Nemonymous Tw0 (2002).  Meanwhile, this is a stunning story as a discrete entity – word bubbles, the lobby of the ‘Death in Venice’ hotel (here a skiing one), scrying blocks of ice like crystal balls… “How can an Ice Man possibly fulfill his duties as a husband?” The Ice Man Cometh..? The South Pole as another Egnaro or Tainaron? “Winter’s come, my husband said. A long, long winter.” On the face of it, this seems to give a nod of approval or a shake of the head (but which?) towards my earlier Autumn / Winter conceit about the Weird in general, i.e. still teetering on the edge, still awake, still not within that cold nothingness or endlessness, because he’s there to describe it from outside of any true winter of the soul.  He’s just imagining it from his calm, reflective, Japanese-passive, dead-pan non-sequitur (that we readers are taught to take for granted as if Ice Men have always existed; we’ve always known about them and there is no good in any of us shaking our heads).

PS: Having finished 1Q84, I’m now simultaneously reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63.  Started it on 11/22/11.

Continued as The WEIRD (20) page HERE.

Index of this whole real-time review HERE.


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