February 10th, 2005

breaking bad

Imperfection and performance

An excellent review by Jeff VanderMeer of Murakami's Kafka on the Shore.

There are two ideas in this review (and in the book itself) that might appeal:

- Every encounter with the work of art (say every reader, reading a book) is a new performance of the work, the reader performs the story, the book is just the score for that performance. Same with watching a TV show, a film etc. You create the experience afresh.

- It is the imperfection of the work that drives us to perform and re-imagine it.

Here is a good quote.

"All of the performances are imperfect. A dense, artistic kind of imperfection stimulates your consciousness, keeps your alert. If I listen to some utterly perfect performance of an utterly perfect piece ... I might want to close my eyes and die right then and there ... (but) I can feel the limits of what humans are capable of--that a certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect. And personally, I find that encouraging. Do you know what I'm getting at?"