BookTalkII — Part 11 — Bare Witness


Warning:  BookTalkII assumes an audience that has already read George Orwell’s 1984, and attempts to compare the classic dystopian nightmare against both the novel 1Q84, written by Haruki Murakami, and V for Vendetta, a graphic novel by Alan Moore.  Broken into twelve parts, BookTalkII will focus on a chronologically new section of 1Q84 and V for Vendetta while considering the entire narrative of 1984.  See the BookTalkII main page for more details and links to all twelve parts.

Spoiler Alert:  This part covers the end of V for Vendetta and chapters 19-24 of Book 3 of 1Q84 (up to page 1080).

Each character bows out in turn. V for Vendetta, the shortest narrative of the three, ends here. In the Vertigo print edition of V’s story, the publishers include a behind the scenes section in addition to two deleted chapters. Nevertheless, the extra content spotlights the efforts of David Lloyd in creating the world of V for Vendetta; Alan Moore usually gets the attention as the man behind this project, but obviously there lurks a team of artists at work backstage.


The falling action in 1Q84 puts each character: Ushikawa, Aomame, Tengo, one by one, to sleep. Their chapters literally end with them retiring to bed, settling their minds and resting still. The theme of one being in a room trapped metaphysically pins Ushikawa in place. If some truth emanates from the author, then maybe Haruki Murakami has spent excessive amounts of time held in a room – most likely writing.

Stop and smell the roses. Listen to the song of springtime. The sinfonietta continues to be the most repeated cultural reference throughout 1Q84, so it is worth a repeated listen. Haruki Murakami must be infatuated with this song for some odd reason – maybe it was the only thing he listened to while locked in a remote cabin, the sole album on a deserted island deep in the forest.

Zelkova trees filter the bright penumbras of two moons in 1Q84. Like a manicured bonsai tree, the twisted ending of 1Q84 is a work of art. Timing and patience pay off somewhere inside his head. The more succinct expression exudes poetry.

His face looked very peaceful. It was like – a windless day at the end of autumn, when a single leaf falls from a tree. (Page 1035)


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