Santa Maradona

Haruki Murakami en Berkeley, Parte 1

El 11 de octubre pasado Haruki Murakami fue a Berkeley. Murakami es uno de los escritores japoneses más populares del momento. Lo primero que leí de él fue Norwegian Wood cuando era un extranjero reciente en Estados Unidos. Luego leí casi todo lo demas. Sus novelas se convirtieron en una especie de hermano mayor. El 11 de octubre tuve la oportunidad de ver en vivo a uno de mis heroes. Esto es lo que recuerdo que dijo.


Hello, I'm happy to be here. I believe I'm missing a baseball game. I'm a Rays fan. This guy (says name of japanese player) was a player for a low money team in Japan. He came [to the US] to play for a low money team like the Rays. My kind of guy.

Tonight I will read a story. In Japanese. Then Roland will read the same story in english. We do it this way because japanese is my mother tongue and english is his mother tongue. It could be more interesting if I read in english and he reads in japanese. But we cannot do it that way.

I realize that a lot of you don't speak japanese. Which is unfortunate. But you know, that is not my fault. And it is not your fault either. So, we're even. In any case, if you don't understand japanese, sit back, relax and enjoy the sound.

I wrote my first novel when I was 29. Before that I hadn't written anything at all. Before that, I had nothing to say. I was born in the suburbs. Middle class. No war. So: nothing to say. I had to live first.

I wrote my first novel, I sent it to a publisher. They liked it. They published it. And it sold well. Like a hundred thousand copies. So I was writer. It was quite easy, you know.

I write because I want to know what it is that I'm thinking. I have to write it down. Smart people don't have to do this. They know already what they're thinking.

I don't think with my brain. Or my heart. I think with my fingers. I have a macintosh and I have a keyboard. When I'm front of the keyboard, I'm happy.

I write because it gives me pleasure. It's fun.

Writing a novel is like making a videogame, where I am both the developer and the gamer.

Everybody has obsessions, but most people don't get closer to them. A writer must confront his obsessions.

Catcher in the rye is a very dark book. It's funny, but very dark. J.D. Salinger had very big obsessions. Like three or four times bigger than mine. I'm here (points to stage), he'd be there (points to behind the curtains).

When it comes to books, the longer the better. But I get a lot of complaints from readers. A lot of my readers read during ther commuting, in the train. And a long book is heavy. So I get a lot of complaints. "oh you know, my hands hurt, the book is too heavy." I decided to print my books in very thin pages. People still complained. "Oh we have a fan because it's too hot in the summer and I can't read your books because the pages don't stay still. The pages are so thin." It's hard to keep people happy. There's always someone complaining.