This is my admission essay to NYU, the prompt was to describe one creative work that has influenced my person. Any critique and advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle", written by Haruki Murakami, has resonated within my existence as one of the most influential works upon my character, my being, and my intelligence. It is at once, a novel of excruciatingly beauty and genius. It is a story of loss and love, of the deepest entrapments of the human psyche and the extents to which humanity can lend itself. At heart, the novel is an archetypal story of the protagonist, Toru Okada, searching for his vanished wife whom he refuses to believe left on her own accord. But beyond the basic plot, within the dynamic idiosyncrasies of each character, there lingers a transcendental mental complexity and a profound emotional depth like shadows flickering at the end of each sentence and the start of each word.
Reading the book for the first time in the summer of my sophomore year I found it to be magnificent, the very peaks and valleys of human sentiment stood out radiantly and resplendently to my hungry eyes. The intricacies of life, death, and love flashed before me as concrete as the ink and binding that held them together. Up to that point, out of either ignorance or arrogance, I had never dared to look past the boundaries of my own existence. I had never stopped to consider the people around me as the world turned and the weather changed with each season. Like my peers around me, I was immature and assured of my own immense infallibility. But with the rise and fall of each word, I felt that illusion of safety slipping between my fingers until I was left to face a brave new world with new bright eyes.
Before that point I had never realized how complex and complicated the human soul could be, and how empty my own was. The book was a call to arms, emboldening me to devour literature like a starving man. An unappeasable glutton, I read Milton's "Paradise Lost", Sartre's "Nausea", Soseki's "I am a cat", and Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" all in the first month after finishing "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle". These dead writers, nothing more than ashes and bones, became my heroes, my teachers, and my friends. I began to write more and more. I was terrible at first, but despite each abhorrent word and clumsy sentence, I kept on writing. I had found something beyond the scope of my limited world, something far outside of my immaturity and apathy. In the written word I had found empathy and compassion, in writing I found what had been missing from the cavernous depths of my soul.
I had found something I loved.
By the start of my junior year, I knew that writing was what I wanted to dedicate my life and my education to. That if the sky happened to fall one terrible morning I would be clutching vellum in one hand and charcoal in the other, scribbling away madly in some long-forgotten hole, endeavoring to pull beauty out of tragedy.