On 1Q84

“Things may look different than they did before. I’ve had that experience myself. But don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality.” — Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

During the late summer and fall of last year, I read Haruki Murakami’s massive novel, 1Q84. The story involves two people who come to realize they are no longer living in the reality in which they thought they were living. Their reality has shifted, as if it was a railroad car that has been switched to another track.

1Q84 was a fitting read for a bizarro year.The novel draws parallels to George Orwell’s 1984. Both describe dystopias driven by sinister underlying forces.

1Q84 was a fitting read for a bizarro year. 2016 was a year of competing dystopic visions. Each side warned that the other side would lead to ruin. But reality lies in between.

In 1Q84, one of the minor characters cautions a protagonist that the only reality is the one in which she is living. There aren’t two realities — just the one we live in now. Better make the most of it.


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