Saturday, 21 September 2013
The pencils of Oshima
The writing instrument that represents Oshima, the cross-gender librarian of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, is the pencil: yellow with a rubber at the end, long, slender, always impeccably sharpened, always there by his side or twirling between his middle and index fingers. There is always a stack of long neatly sharpened pencils on his desk. He uses the pencil to encourage, to make a point, to think (by gently pushing the rubber end against his temple), to bid farewell.
"Where his pencils finish up when they get too short I have no idea." says Kafka whose pencils are usually blunt.
"Oshima picks up a long, sharpened pencil from the counter and gazes at it as if it's an extension of himself. ...
Instead of raising his hand, he lifts his pencil in farewell."
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore, Kindle Ed. 2011.