TQR Confidential

Friday, December 13, 2013

FROM THE FATHERLAND, WITH LOVE's lie that told the truth -- chilling confluence of life and art in Murakami's fiction

DATELINE: Pyongyang, North Korea -- Jang Sung Taek* led away after conviction by military tribunal. Days later, he is executed for crimes against the State... charges include not clapping hard enough for nephew & new Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un.


Excerpt from FROM THE FATHERLAND, WITH LOVE's (2005) Prologue #2:

Kim Gweon Cheol ... [had] been a trusted associate of Jang Sung Taek*, the Dear Leader's brother-in-law. Even after the latter had been purged for pushing too eagerly for economic liberalization, Kim had survived...

Interestingly enough, in the AFTERWORD of FTFWL written in 2012 for the novel's English-language translation, Murakami succumbs to a bout of faint optimism in regards to the direction of North Korean politics:

Last year [Kim Jong Il] died, and his son Kim Jong Un was selected as his successor. Presumably there has been no change of plan, however: the son will be propped up and guided by the group surrounding his uncle Jang Sung Taek, with China's backing.

Unfortunately for Taek, Murakami got it right the first time around.