Next on my list of short stories I want to share is Haruki Murakami’s “Samsa in Love”. It’s opening turns the first line of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis on its head and gives the reader a less bleak ending than Kafka’s classic.
I love a love story, but it has to be the right kind. For me, it must be between characters that feel like real people with relatable flaws and pains. And for some reason, they decide to set aside those hurts in hopes that this may be the right one.
Any love story that I add to my list of treasured tales will also have people who aren’t ideals of physical perfection.
I want to read about a broken nose that wasn’t set straight, or a chipped tooth, or a prosthetic leg. Love stories must make me feel that anyone, no– everyone, can find someone to love.
That’s what I love about this story. Murakami takes two flawed characters and brings them together in this quirky and unusual tale. Samsa’s appreciation of the woman is touching as he is attracted to her because she is what the Japanese call omoshiroi— interesting– as opposed to beautiful.
I could go on, but I’d like you to read the story for yourself here.