Haruki Murakami (the author who gave this blog its name) has a new book due out in August, but this one isn't about mysterious girls offering manual relief to shy jazz musicians while spaghetti falls from the sky and a cat watches. Instead, it's an extended meditation on his chosen profession (writing, often about the previously mentioned spaghetti, handjobs, etc) and the relationship it has with his preferred pastime (distance running, specifically marathons).
In this extract, he describes his preparation for the 2005 New York Marathon, and his experience of the race itself:
An understated, rainy-day-sneakers sort of conclusion. An anticlimax, if you will. Turn it into a screenplay, and the Hollywood producer would just glance at the last page and toss it back.
Which gives some sort of validation to my dislike of fiction that offers too neat a closure, and also explains why I love Murakami so much. Life isn't bound by a Robert McKee-ordained three-act structure; it's not designed to fit bloody narrative arcs. So why should fiction - if it has any relation to life - have to follow those rules? Murakami doesn't. Long may he, um, run.
PS: Ariel Leve on a similar theme in the Sunday Times.