Murakami and Sheep

There is something about sheep that I can connect with.

Not that I’ve ever really been close to a sheep. I suppose most of the sheep that I have seen were in books or drawings. Even then, it wasn’t real sheep, but pictures of sheep. Cute sheep, like fluffy cotton balls dotting a green pasture.
I could never relate bad things with sheep. They always seemed so docile and dumb– helplessly bleating “bahh bahh” or stupidly following another sheep over a cliff to death. The placid image of sheep in my head also comes from two great books that read as a child: the Bible and Heidi. Of course, there are no sheep in Heidi, which takes place in the Swiss Alps. But somehow goats and sheep sort of blended in my head as a similar animal.

But to go back to sheep.
Having a strong dislike for Murakami Haruki, I vowed never to read any of his books, but the abominable man wrote two books that had titles that forced me to buy them.
The first had ‘elephant’ in the title, the second had ‘sheep.’ Both smelly animals, but for some reason, painted as cute characters in my mind. I polished off the first in a jiffy, but took more time with second. (For your information, the title is “A Wild Sheep Chase” but that is not important. The important thing is that it is about sheep.)

It made me even more angry that Murakami wrote about sheep. Because sheep is supposed to be my thing. I was going to write a weird abstract story about a sheep. But now I can’t since whatever I write now on sheep will only seem like a copy of Murakami. So I can’t write about sheep. It is like the screenplay I started writing about a young man who moves into a house that is occupied by the ghost of a young woman. I had written the synopsis and the first two scenes when I read a newspaper article that some Korean director was filming a movie that had almost the same synopsis as my screenplay. I never bothered to finish it.

Being in the confused mood that I am these days, I wonder if there is anything new at all. Last week, a friend visited my place and looked at some of my recent paintings. “That looks like Van Gogh, that looks like Munch,” she said. I felt the same way I did back in my freshman year of college, when a girl looked at my earrings and said, “Oh, you’re wearing ***-style earrings!”
I was like, “No, I bought these a long time ago and I don’t even know that celebrity.”

So this is a posting about sheep. Lost sheep. Unintentionally stolen sheep. Perhaps you may now understand why I am mad at Murakami.

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One response to “Murakami and Sheep

  1. Pingback: Be a sheep! « Arctic Penguin·

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