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I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While

I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While

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Title:I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While
Info:Faber and Faber,, Paperback
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I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While by Taichi Yamada



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At it's core this is a love story & as in the experience of love/passion itself, you live in a heightened reality that follows it's own logic, sitting outside everyday mundanity.

In this beautiful tale, we have Taura, a 48 year old deputy director in a company that builds pre-fab houses and Mutsuko, a 67 year old grandmother. Both appear to be cast adrift from their own lives. They meet in a hospital & after a series of awkward moments they have a spoken sexual encounter whilst separated by a screen. The next morning a nurse moves the screen and Taura sees this wizened grey old lady.

After leaving the hospital, Taura again encounters Mutsuko, she is now physically younger by about 20 years, they then, consumed by passion, embark upon an affair. A sense of dread slowly pervades this relationship as Mutsuko each time they meet is physically younger, although remaining a 67 year old grandmother. As I'm reading this. I start to worry that we are heading into Nabokov territory, as Mutsuko appears as a beautiful teenager.

"I pulled a blanket over her naked shoulder & felt like a father fixing the blanket of his child - even though only a moment before, had been inside her"

Taura, as well as myself, are left wondering what will happen, "will she next be a child & after that?"

This novel by Taichi Yamada is the 2nd book I've read by him and as with the first, (Strangers), there is an interstitial tear between the characters and the real world they would normally inhabit. This device, this heightened magic realism, drives the story forward relying on the conflict between reality and unreality, allowing us to focus on Taura and Mutsuko's tale.

It treads the borderline between the supernatural & reality, never really answering your questions such as, why is this happening to Mutsuko, is it caused by Taura or their relationship & what will happen?

Like Taura, we watch it slip away never really understanding, though still haunted.

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/i-havent-dreamed-of-flying-for-whil... ( )
  parrishlantern | Jul 6, 2012 |
Like his previous work Strangers, Yamada weaves a tale of marital unhappiness, work-related stress and middle-aged mental trauma. Into the mix, as usual, comes the vaguely supernatural chance meeting.

Yamada has the ability to infuse the everyday with the unnatural, making the mundane somehow fascinating without altering its basic structure. The people in his stories are just like us, going through the motions of lives they don't appreciate and don't think much about, until the supernatural walks up and drags them out of their comfort zone. Less outright horrifying than creepy and unsettling, these books are always good for giving the reader a heavy heart and a lot to think about.

I Haven't Dreamed of Flying goes more for the "unclassifiable creepy occurance" than for a ghost tale this time around. Taura, the main character, spends time in a hospital recovering from an injury he inflicted upon himself during a stress-related psychotic break. While there, he engages in some "dirty talk" with a young-sounding woman who is also injured and hidden behind a partition. Only afterwards does he find out she is an old woman. Disgusted, he tries to put it out of mind and goes on with his life.

The next time he sees her, though, she appears a bit younger... ( )
  JackFrost | Apr 9, 2008 |
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I talked about how I hadn't dreamed of flying for a while,
And that very night, for the first time in a while,
I dreamt I was flying
From 'Dream' By Sachiko Yoshihara
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After accident, illness, and the loss of his job and marriage, forty-eight-year-old Taura meets Mutsuko, setting his already derailed life even further off course. Their first encounter is, unseen, in an overcrowded hospital. It later transpires that the mysterious Mutsuko is in her late sixties, but when they next meet she is younger, in her forties, and the two seemingly fall in love. With Mutsuko's age decreasing each time they meet, however, time rapidly starts to run out for these two damaged souls. Short and enigmatic, Yamada's novel is a bold and disturbing exploration of love and loss.
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After accident, illness and the loss of his job and marriage, 48-year-old Taura meets Matsuko, setting his already derailed life even further off course. Their first encounter is, unseen, in a hospital. It later transpires that the mysterious Matsuko is in her late sixties, but when they next meet she is in her forties.… (more)

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