April 8th 2018

Today I read my second and third Murakami books, although in this case I’m not sure whether it counts as two books or one. Wind/Pinball is a two-stories in one book consisting of Haruki Murakami’s first novel, Hear The Wind Sing, and it’s sequel Pinball, 1973. 

The reason I love Murakami is the same reason his detractors dislike him. His work sounds like it’s been translated. And that’s because it has. After struggling with writing Japanese prose on Hear The Wind Sing, he made the decision to start writing in English, because the rhythm and intonation of his words sounded better in English than in Japanese. It was later translated into Japanese, and then back into English. As such, the book is riddled with little, imperfect turns of phrase that sound odd, but are made weirdly more poetic, in a rudimentary sort of way.

In the introduction to the books, Murakami talks about writing for art or writing for meaning. He says that the Greeks made art but “If you’re the sort of guy who raids the refrigerators of silent kitchens at three o’clock in the morning, you can only write accordingly. That’s who I am.”

And that’s who I am too. Murakami said he struggled with writing at first because he was trying to sit down and produce a piece of art with deep, multifaceted narrative. But when he wrote about his own life it was easy. And I think that’s the problem I’m having recently. Writing about my own life is easy, I do it every day, but there’s nothing interesting happening in my life that’s really worth writing about. So any writing I do do is forced, and imperfect.

Maybe I just need to start living before I can start writing.

Until tomorrow, that’s who I am.


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