vrijdag 6 januari 2012
Haruki Murakami - Slaap
Even though the Dutch edition of The elephant vanishes does not contain "Sleep", Gnoe and I decided to include this because, as there is no such thing as coincidence, that particular story has been published on its own just a few months back. In a great edition, with wonderful illustrations by the German artist Kat Menschik.
The opening sentence instantly shows what this particular story will be about: "Ik heb al zeventien dagen niet geslapen" (In English something like: "I have not slept for seventeen days"). The protagonist of this story, a young married woman with a small son, suddenly seems incapable of falling asleep. The first night she wakes up because of a shadow in the bedroom. An old man, pouring water over her feet. Paralysed by fear she waits until he disappears, to notice that her feet aren't in the least bit wet.
Even stranger is the fact that she doesn't even get tired. She doesn't want anybody to know, they might just take her to a doctor! So when she and her husband go to bed at night, she waits until he falls asleep and then goes into the living room to read. Anna Karenina and other Russian classics. Drinking cognac, nibbling chocolate, two things her husband (a dentist) does not approve of. During the day she swims, performs her household-duties, and reads some more...