Haruki Murakami stuff

So when I go to bed at night, I need to fall asleep watching something. I don’t have a tv in my room, so I usually watch some sort of documentary on google or somewhere else on my phone. It can take weeks or months to get through one (I fall asleep pretty quick) but eventually I make it through.

Recently, I finished watching this doc on Haruki Murakami:

It also points out Murakami is pretty reclusive and doesn’t do much press. (He did do a great interview with The Paris Review, and there are some out there, but he is far from a media darling.) He agreed to answer questions for the film, with the stipulation that he wasn’t videotaped, photographed and that his voice wasn’t used.

This first time I bumped into Murakami was in a creative writing class at CCP. There was a kid in there with a worn copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. He swore by it and read it over and over again. Much like I judge a book by its cover, I judged the kid. Sort of a Dungeons & Dragons type. But the fact he was passionate about the book did stick out. Years later an ex-girlfriend gave me Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I was pretty blown away by the book. I tried The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles a few times but couldn’t get in. Last year I tried again and, once again, was blown away. There is something pretty magical about the story and the writing. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles also mirrored some stuff I was going through at the time, more so than any other time I had read a book and been able to identify with the protagonist, at the exact time I was going through similar stuff. At least emotionally. Anyway…

IQ84 is definitely on my list to get to. I just finished Old School and am reading Hiroshima, but I should knock that out pretty quick. Watching this doc reminded me that IQ84 needs to be next on my list.

The film mentions that Murakami translated Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye into Japanese. Turns out he has also translated Truman Capote, Raymond Carver, John Irving, Tim O’Brien, Shel Silverstein and Paul Theroux. Among others. Neat. Made me want to dig around and find some of his short stories and I found two good sites on the author, with both a few interviews and a few short stories: Exorcising Ghosts and Murakami’s official website.

Anyone read IQ84?