Barn burning


Twenty five years ago, I read in the New Yorker
A short story titled « Barn Burning » written by Haruki Murakami.
I was then a young student in a French engineering school.
My English course consisted in reading short stories,
Then writing about them.
Eventually we would write our own – I still have it somewhere,
But this is not our subject matter here –
If you haven’t read Barn Burning, you should,
You may access it for free where everything is always
Free and accessible.
Here’s half and hour so that you can peruse it.

My interpretation of Murakami’s piece was that
The narrator is told stories which may or may not be true,
Then spends some of his life proving their truth.
A few weeks ago I became aware of Burning,
The Korean film which won nothing at the Cannes festival
While being the public’s darling
I was also told it was inspired by the Murakami short story,
In turn inspired by Barn Burning written by William Faulkner.

I have not read the Faulkner story, but some day I will.
– It seems only logical to read it twenty five years from now. –
Too often in the flow of stuff, do I forget what kind of material
I have used to build the house I live in. Fragile cathedrals,
Words read long time ago, stories I did not forget,
My memories are alive. This is what I am made of
And how I know the world to be a magnificent miracle.

Image credit : Burning

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