Aug 10, 2012

Richard Brautigan's "The Tokyo-Montana Express"

Last week I got a package by mail from England.

I couldn't remember what this package from England was. I opened it, and I found an old paperback.

In response to the entry "Haruki Murakami and American Literature" I got a comment, which recommended  that I read Richard Brautigan's "The Tokyo-Montana Express", because "Brautigan's novel The Tokyo-Montana Express is full of episodes which resemble instances and connections that we find in Murakami's novels."

I looked for this novel at, and I found that it was out of print, so I ordered a second hand book through At that time I didn't realize that I had ordered it from a second hand bookstore in England..

Although I could enjoy it, I don't necessarily think that this novel is resembled to Haruki Murakami's works. It is full of short episodes about slight matters in his everyday life. Short novels about slight matters in the author's everyday life are one of the categories in Japanese literature. "The Tokyo-Montana Express" doesn't resemble Haruki Murakami's works, but Japanese literature in general.

In these novels, authors write just the surface of their lives and don't get into the depths beneath. Brautigan also stopped at the surface intentionally. He revealed his backstage in the episode "Dancing feet."

In conventional storytelling this would be a good time to say some things about the life of the businessman: Maybe his age, country, background, family, does he masturbate? is he impotent? etc., but I won't because it's not important.

Brautigan cut off what he thought of as important from his everyday life, and just put them to me. He didn't interpret them and let us interpret them by ourselves.

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