Friday, February 17, 2012


"Hey, Tengo, do you know the difference between the English words 'lunatic' and 'insane'?, she asked.

"They're both adjectives describing mental abnormality. I'm not quite sure how they differ."

"'Insane' probably means to have an innate mental problem, something that calls for professional treatment, while 'lunatic' means to have your sanity temporarily seized by the luna, which is 'moon' in Latin. In nineteenth century England, if you were a certified lunatic and you committed a crime, the severity of the crime would be reduced by a notch. The idea was that the crime was not so much the responsibility of the person himself as that he was led astray by the moonlight. Believe it or not, laws like that actually existed. In other words, the fact that the moon can drive people crazy was actually recognized in law".

Page 307, 'What's the Point of its being a World that isn't There?'
From 'IQ84', Haruki Murakami

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