I have been a fan of Murakami for a very long time so I decided to read a book about him written in 2003, “Haruki Murakami and the music of words” by Jay Rubin. This book analyses all of his work (novels and short stories) up to date trying to incorporate personal life information and bits of interviews. The book is really interesting as it considers Murakami’s influencers and inspirations.

Most of all, I was really interested by what Murakami has said in his interviews about his work but especially about how he came about writing it, as he wrote novels of all genres and with all sorts of symbolisms.

In one of his first interviews, Murakami said that he started writing not as a form of therapy or self-healing but because he thought he should have a “record” of stories he was told by his acquaintances. He said he wasn’t the kind of person that talks a lot but he had always been interested in hearing other people’s stories. Most of the time the feelings felt by his characters are related to the feelings people around him had at the time.

He also said his novels (even the strangest ones) always achieve to feel familiar because he tries to narrate the story as if he was telling his personal experiences it to a friend. He is detached enough to tell them logically but very familiar with every single detail. Also, his writing process is extremely spontaneous. He doesn’t know the course of the story until it emerges from the unconscious and begins to form on paper. This can be frustrating and requires a lot of confidence in both the fact that the story is inside you and that you have the ability to write it properly.

These are just some of the things that made me think while reading that book. I wonder if most writers would answer in the same way when asked why and how they write. What is mesmerising about the way that Murakami writes is how he doesn’t plan how his stories/novels are going to end and he himself doesn’t really know but he just gets carried by the words while writing.

Linda Arrighi

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