“I loved to read; I loved to listen to music; and I love cats. Those three things. So, even though I was an only kid, I could be happy because I knew what I loved. Those three things haven’t changed from my childhood. I know what I love, still, now. That’s a confidence. If you don’t know what you love, you are lost.”
Just tonight after work, I thought of writing a review about 1Q84, my quiet thoughts about it and why I would recommend it to my friends (well, basically, it’s a precious work of art that I still think about even if I’ve finished reading it days ago). Looking for photos to put in my blogpost, I was led to so many articles, photos and interviews of Murakami and his translators. One interview that gave me everything I need to know about Murakami is published here. And the part which draws me to this author is that one I quoted above because I remember talking with my sister one time who said I seem to clearly know what I want in life, and I wondered out loud that I don’t understand people (including her) who don’t know what they want/love in life.
Right now, what I am certain about is this: Murakami is love.
In the interview, he sounds so funny at times such as this:
When I go to the States or Europe, many people know me. It was so strange. Some years ago I went to Barcelona and did a signing and, you know, 1,000 people came. The girls kissed me. I was so surprised. What happened to me?
“We’ve been married for 40 years or something. She’s still my friend. We have a conversation, always a conversation. She helps me a lot. She gives me advice regarding my books. I respect her opinion. Sometimes we quarrel. Her opinion is so harsh sometimes. It can be.”
Perhaps he needs that.
“I guess so. If my editor did the same thing, I would get mad.” Murakami shrugs. “I can leave my editor, but I can’t leave my wife.”
And there are serious parts that drew me to him ever closer because of his insights:
He had grown up in the 1960s, the only child of a university professor and his homemaker wife and, along with the rest of his generation, rejected the course he was expected to take. He married straight out of university and instead of pursuing further studies, borrowed money to open the jazz bar and indulge his love of music. All around him his friends rebelled, too. Some killed themselves, something Murakami often writes about. “They are gone,” he says. “It was a very chaotic time, and I’m still missing them. So sometimes I feel very strange to become 63 years old. I feel myself as a kind of survivor. Every time I think about them, I have some feeling that I have to live, I have to live very strong. Because I don’t want to spend years of my life… it should be the very purpose, life. Because I survived, I have obligations to give fully. So, every time I write my fiction, from time to time I think of the deceased. Friends.”
He was in Honolulu earlier this year when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. It has changed the country, he says. “People lost their confidence. We had been working so hard, after the end of the war. For 60 years. The richer we became, the happier we become. But at the end, we didn’t get happy, however hard we worked. And the earthquake came, and so many people had to be evacuated, to abandon their houses and homeland. It’s a tragedy. And we were proud of our technology, but our nuclear power plant turned out to be a nightmare. So people started to think, we have to change drastically the way of life. I think that is a big turning point in Japan.”
I love it that he doesn’t know how much money he has already, and I think that explains the overflowing cash in his latest novel 1Q84.