Murakami Interview

Good stuff. His new volume of short stories is holding up, at least so far as I’ve read in it.

As dreamy and introverted as his disaffected protagonists, Murakami has no literary friends and never attends parties. He has spent large stretches of his adult life in Europe and America; we meet, in Murakami’s unassuming Ayoama office, during his brief return to Tokyo from Harvard, where he holds a writer’s fellowship. "I have no models in Japanese literature. I created my own style, my own way. They don’t appreciate this." . . .

Despite what Japan’s most hidebound pundits argue, Murakami’s writing has always been closer to his homeland than the fictional universes of Fitzgerald, Carver and Chandler. Occidental critics ritually compare Murakami with postmodernists such as Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon. But in Japan, as Murakami tells it, "people do not think my stories are postmodern". In Japanese spirituality, the divide between the real and the fantastic is permeable, so his tales of unicorn skulls, six-foot frogs, star-patterned sheep and Colonel Sanders are "very natural".

Also, a story from said collection is available here.


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