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Haruki Murakami: 'You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light'

Haruki Murakami's world

Haruki Murakami's world

The surreal stories written by famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami are read by millions: The peculiarity of the plot developments dampened by an emotional flatness can feel like a comforting refuge from the real world and its extremes.

Murakami says the fantastical content is meaningful by definition. He states that his job is to record what comes from his subconscious, rather than to try and analyze it.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Haruki Murakami: 'You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light'

Haruki Murakami: 'You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light'

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/oct/11/haruki-murakami-interview-killing-commendatore

theguardian.com

4

Key Ideas

Haruki Murakami's world

The surreal stories written by famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami are read by millions: The peculiarity of the plot developments dampened by an emotional flatness can feel like a comforting refuge from the real world and its extremes.

Murakami says the fantastical content is meaningful by definition. He states that his job is to record what comes from his subconscious, rather than to try and analyze it.

Haruki Murakami - Key moments

  • Haruki Murakami was born in 1949 in Kyoto, and instead of moving into a corporate career, he opened a jazz club in Tokyo.
  • A few years later, at a baseball stadium, it occurred to him that he could write a novel. That led to Hear the Wind Sing (1979), which won him a new writers' prize.
  • He was more like a  black sheep in the Japanese literary world, partly because his books were too American-like.
  • Regardless of his critics, his commercial success continued to grow, hitting a high point in 1987 with Norwegian Wood, which sold 3,5m copies within a year of publication.

Daily writing routine

Haruki Murakami began to perfect the daily writing routine for which he is now as famous as for any single novel. He rises at 4 am to write for five or six hours, producing ten pages a day before a run of about six miles, and maybe a swim.

He believes that he has to be strong physically in order to write strong things.

Beyond the weirdness

Haruki Murakami states that when he was in his teens in the 1960s, that was the age of idealism. They believed the world would get better if they tried. People today don't believe that.

People may say that his books are weird, but beyond the weirdness, there should be a better world. That is fundamental to the structure of his stories: You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light.

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