I found this quote by Haruki Murakami slightly amusing, “what counts isn’t the number of copies a book sells but how the novelist’s messages can reach the readers”.
Recently he published his newest book 1Q84 in Japan (no talks yet of when it will be translated). It was highly anticipated and mostly due to the fact that people only knew that it would be two volumes. Murakami didn’t want any other information about the story to be leaked as he was worried the book would make less of an impact. This is mostly due to when Kafka on the Shore was published as bits of the story was leaked and Murakami believed it took away from the impact of the story.
He has finally talked more about the story and it’s inspiration in an article from Guardian. Which I felt to be too much, as Guardian tells quite a bit about the plot (so just read the beginning and end of the article if you don’t want it to be spoiled).
Murakami reveals Orwell and Aum as twin inspirations for new novel
With being busy finishing homework, I overlooked the 10 Questions for Haruki Murakami. I finally remembered today and this was my favorite question. The questions asked were rather simple, like “What’s your favorite book?” and other questions Murakami gives very short answers to, “Why has your writing found such an international audience?”. For a little more insight to the author however, it was a good quick read.
“Can you elaborate about your forthcoming novel?
I’ve been writing that book for close to two years and it’s going to be the biggest book I’ve ever written. All my books are weird love stories. I love weird love stories. And this book is a very long, weird love story. ”
And for anyone who has read an extensive amount of Murakami, knows very well how much he does like weird love stories.
For the rest of the questions: 10 Questions for Haruki Murakami
If you ask me what my favorite food is, I will quickly respond, “Eel!” to which everyone usually says, “really?” Yes, really, this is my favorite. And before even becoming a librarian, I loved libraries or any places with shelves of old books. So when I pick up Kafka on the Shore, I find myself overjoyed and only because eel is loved by one of the main characters, Nakata, and another frequents and then works for a small library.
“Eel is quite a treat. There’s something different about it, compared to other food. Certain foods can take the place of others, but as far as I know nothing can take the place of eel.”
This could my anthem.
And the library:
“Right in front of the Komura Memorial Library’s imposing front gate stand two neatly trimmed plum trees. Inside the gate a gravel path winds past other beautifully manicured bushes and trees — pines and magnolias, kerria and azaleas — with not a fallen leaf in sight. A couple of stone lanterns peck out between the trees, as does a small pond. Finally I get to the intricately designed entrance. I come to a halt in front of the open front door, hesitating for a moment about going inside. This place doesn’t look like any library I’ve ever seen…When I open them [the books], most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out between the pages — a special odor of knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers.”
And this is why I love Murakami. But not just because of eel and libraries, but for his style of writing and ideas. It has been so long since I’ve read a Murakami novel that I’ve forgotten how much I do love a novel that provokes your mind instead of just your emotions.