The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street

April 11, 2007

The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street

I’ve been reading a book by Haruki Murakami called ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’ it’s not one of his best books but it’s still very interesting in it’s originality: it’s split into two storylines; one’s written in a Kafkaesque style in a ‘1984’ setting; the other is set in a foreboding vacuous fantasy land where everyone’s shadow has been cut off and unicorns are herded in and out routinely. The stories are linked by visual and metaphorical connections that develop as they progress. The fantasy resonates strongly with de Chirico’s painting ‘the Mystery and Melancholy of a Street’ (above) and has caused it to occupy my thoughts for the past few days. The story also reminds me of the Playstation2 game ‘Ico’ which is by far the most beautiful game i’ve seen: the cover is in the style of de Chirico (shown below). Reading the book reminded me of the painting; i was fascinated the first time I saw it. It manages to create a great atmosphere of claustrophobia and helplessness in contrast to the great depth; it feels like a prison to me although the girl in the foreground seems oblivious. Also you can only see shadows and silhouettes of people which have key importance in both ‘Ico’ and Murakami’s book. I’m sure both were strongly influenced by de Chirico’s subtle imagery. There isn’t really any point of this post but every now and then something compels and occupies my mind and I feel I should note it down.



10 Responses to “The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street”

  1. Fbrak Says:

    I really like that picture.
    Did you notice yourself that the playstation game’s front cover was in the same style?
    Is the game itself in that style?

  2. obourneo Says:

    Yes, i did notice and i mentioned: “the cover is in the style of de Chirico (shown below)”.
    The game has the same feel as the painting and uses similar sense of scale but it is in rendered more like a normal computer graphics.
    The amazing thing about the visuals in the game is the distance and scale of the surroundings.

  3. Fbrak Says:

    What I meant was to ask if you noticed it yourself, off your own brain, as opposed to already being aware of it.

  4. obourneo Says:

    I did notice it myself. I haven’t seen it written anywhere but the similarities are so close that the ‘Ico’ cover must be based on de Chirico’s style.

  5. britt Says:

    Fbrak is an idiot

  6. Shahriman Says:

    Fbrak is idiot in a much more obvious way than the resemblance between two images. However, de Chirico’s paintings induces in me a deep melancholia. Yet I feel a strong drive to be in that world. Faint light, huge spaces and desolate structures – very disturbing indeed. Have you seen “The Soothsayer’s Redemption”?

  7. Spanish amber Says:

    ‘the mystery and melancholy of a street’…….one of my favorite paintings!….whenever i see it, i kinda feel the One(neo-Platonic term?) which the good and evil combined…..

    something’s shown… the picture
    1. darkness coming to bright future
    2. hope shown beneath the evil-darkness
    3. multi-faced human nature

  8. FBRAK Says:

    Who is calling me an idiot? Justify these statements!

  9. ali Says:

    Shahriman ur pretty poetic aint ya

  10. your mum Says:

    Shahriman – the vacuousness of your thoughts betrays their boring and pointless nature; pure platitudes.

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