His protagonists are usually transformed by exquisitely tender physical unions with unusual, beautiful and often confused or mysterious women. He describes love with delicate wonder, and his hero is driven by passionate need once the woman of his life is revealed. “I have to talk to you,” Norwegian Wood’s Toru Watanabe tells the emotionally troubled Naoko. “I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”
Haruki Murakami in the New Yorker:
I don’t see my readers’ faces, so in a sense my relationship with them is a conceptual one, but I’ve consistently considered it the most important thing in my life.
His literary spiderwebs remind us that, though we may not be fully aware of it, something profoundly disturbing lies at the heart of what we take for everyday reality. With his surreal imagination grounded in down-to-earth experience, his novels, short stories, essays and even his memoir juxtapose the uncanny with the ordinary to capture the loneliness and uncertainty at the heart of modern life. His protagonists may be disaffected young Japanese men and women, but their experience of ennui and loss, and their search for love and certainty, speak to us all. Amid the alienation, flickers of hopefulness spring from seemingly random human interactions and connections, reminding us that the race is well worth running.
I get the feeling that what I want to write are stories that raise the level of decency. No matter how dark, how forlorn circumstances may be, some sort of decency offers a glimmer of light and suggests that there is something about that can save you.
What I fear more than anything else is ‘psychological enclosure’ imposed by those who are pushing a particular cause. Most people need some sort of boundary, and it becomes unbearable if their boundaries disappear… there are lots of cages, or enclosures, and some people get caught up in these and find themselves unable to get out if they’re not careful…
Stories must exist to work against those psychological enclosures. A good story is not something you can see, but it should give depth and width to people’s minds. And a broad, deep-thinking mind is not something that likes to be shut off in a narrow space.
murkami’s latest novel will be the longest yet. he’s writing in the third person (a “fateful shift”) and it will be
“set against a background of the turmoil that has arisen in the post-Cold War world.”
Haruki Murakami considers Dostoevsky the greatest:
“If I personally had to pick one writer who I consider the greatest of all time, I would choose Dostoevsky… What works like ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ or ‘The Possessed’ mean for me is the scope of their stories for a novel. It’s just really special.”
The three most important books he has read:
BBC1 arts strand Imagine has lined up profiles of Japanese author Haruki Murakami…
… returns at the end of May (2008).
… presenter Alan Yentob travels to Japan to meet Murakami, the notoriously publicity-shy author… who has agreed to an off-camera interview.
In the impressionistic film, Yentob will go in search of Murakami’s muse in Tokyo and Kobe, where he delves into the social and political background of the author’s work and encounters his fans, critics, translators and a talking cat.