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Haruki Murakami’s Blues

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Haruki Murakami (Kyoto, Japan, 1949) has been awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Lettersadding one more award to the recognitions already received. Eternal Nobel candidateit is impossible to predict if the Swedish Academy will ever give him the prize or if he will suffer the same fate as Philip Roth. Exalted by readers and questioned by some critics, the Japanese writer is already a classic of postmodern literature. Literary criticism cannot justify his opinions with irrefutable evidence, but with reasonable arguments.

It is true that Murakami, like Borges either garcia marquez, has ended up repeating the formula that gave it so much success since its inception, but there can be no talk of decline or decadence. His books are always fresh, thought provoking and poetic. Alfred Hitchcock and john ford they also reproduced the same formula over and over again. This reiteration should not be interpreted as the sign of an imagination on the verge of exhaustion, but rather as a trait of style.

Why is Murakami a great writer and why does he deserve the distinction that our country has just awarded him? Literature is style, a peculiar way of grouping words and building a story. Murakami’s prose is clean, precise and poetic.. From his first novel, listen to the song of the wind, there is a vocation for transparency and simplicity that has facilitated the dissemination of his work. How did that style come about? Murakami has told us that he wrote an early version of listen to the song of the wind which he rejected due to its rhetorical and cumbersome nature.

[El escritor japonés Haruki Murakami gana el Premio Princesa de Asturias de las Letras]

To overcome this tendency to emphasis, he produced a second version in English, which forced him to express himself in a clearer and more direct way. From this exercise, his definitive style would emerge, characterized by phrases without an iota of litter. Style is never timeless, because the influence of each era is insurmountable, but certain authors manage to place themselves somewhat beyond their time. This is the case of Murakami, who has managed to turn liquidity into a virtue. His style is not superficial, but light, soft, almost invisible, like a glass that lets light through.

Style is not Murakami’s only quality. In addition, he has created a perfectly defined world, with some very clear signs of identity. Without any kind of nostalgia for Japanese traditions, which puts him very far from Yukio Mishima either Natsume SōsekiMurakami has forged his sensibility by reading Raymond Carver and scott fitzgeraldand listening to the records of John Coltrane and the beatles. He does not long for the past of Japan, where gregariousness and obedience were worshiped. For him, the important thing is not the group, but the individual. He does not believe that obeying is something noble and necessary. Each one must trace their path, without letting themselves be carried away by the dominant ideas.

Murakami has ended up repeating the formula that made him so successful, but his books are always fresh, stimulating and poetic.

That way of thinking is an anomaly in japanwhere the personal is considered irrelevant compared to the collective. Murakami has assimilated the Western perspective and, far from regretting it, claims that influence. It is worth clarifying that this attitude does not include an exaltation of reason or European values ​​prior to 1989, when religious creeds and ideologies dragged the crowds.

Murakami is Western to its last consequences, that is, he has embraced the disenchantment of the generations after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He does not believe in the great stories of Modernity or in the illuminating power of Reason. That’s why, his novels are full of dreams and paradoxes. His characters are individualists who do not consider changing the world. They do not encourage great ethical or political passions. They just want to survive and enjoy a place in the sun.

[Diez libros imprescindibles para adentrarse en Haruki Murakami]

Murakami has known how to develop characters and plots capable of convincingly expressing his vision of the world. He has never incurred in didacticism. There are no heroes in his novels. Only men and women adrift, who dream of an existence free of suffering. They do not fantasize about eternity or earthly paradises. For them, happiness is something simple: a Beatles song or a trumpet solo from Miles Davisa dark bar where it is possible to meet someone mysterious, a few hours of sex in a bed without the need to establish a commitment.

Murakami’s plots almost always choose urban scenes. Nature is only a distant reference. The cities are the scene of some arguments where the only chimera is love. Despite his skepticism, Murakami’s characters dream of reciprocated love. However, that desire almost always fails. Disappointment is usually the last season of adventures fraught with strange, almost fantastic aspects. Murakami’s poetic sensibility detects beauty in places that go unnoticed by most, such as an alley, a pinball machine or an airport.

Murakami’s poetic sensibility detects beauty in places that go unnoticed by most

Although realism prevails, there is always a suspicion that everything narrated has been a dream. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Murakami makes us think that we do not live, but that we dream. Between life and death, the human being is only a shadow that fades as soon as he takes a few steps. His trail hardly differs from that of a drop of water on a windshield.

How do you have to read Murakami? I think with the same disposition with which we listen to a blues. We know that in those notes there is feeling, delicacy, lyricism, sincerity and a slight tear. Murakami always tells us something about us, perhaps because he mostly talks about himself. It is not possible to understand others without digging within ourselves, and in doing so, we inevitably come across feelings that belong to everyone.

Murakami is the chronicler of loneliness and disappointment, but also the encounter with others. We do not live in apartment-shaped bubbles, but in spaces with windows that allow us to peek into the lives of others. Murakami’s literature is one of those windows and what he shows us never disappoints us.

If you want some motivation, then here is your way: Frases Positivas

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