"The more she thought about it, the more natural her second hypothesis began to feel to her because, no matter how much she searched for it, she could not find in herself a gap or distortion in her mind.
And so she carried this hypothesis forward:
It’s not me but the world that’s deranged.
Yes, that settles it.”
One of the criticisms that gets levelled against Murakami occasionally, or against Murakami’s fans, really, is that he’s not a particularly representative Japanese novelist: he’s a writer who very much looks to the West. Spaghetti, jazz, postmodern fluidity with narrative and time. I don’t think though that this is entirely the case; his characters — as Aomame here — do not respond in a predictably Western, postmodern way; this kind of certainty in reality, especially as seated in the self, is almost anti-postmodern, essentialist, and it’s the tension between that rigidity and the generic playfulness that maybe best characterizes what he does.