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Murakami on Contemporary Narrative

Posted on : 21-10-2010 | By : Dean | In : Literature

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Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, had the following to say in an interview with the Paris Review:

I’m a writer of contemporary literature, which is very different. At the time that Kafka was writing, you had only music, books, and theater; now we have the Internet, movies, rental videos, and so much else. We have so much competition now. The main problem is time: in the nineteenth century, people—I’m talking about the leisure class—had so much time to spend, so they read big books. They went to the opera and sat for three or four hours. But now everyone is so busy, and there is no real leisure class. It’s good to read Moby-Dick or Dostoevsky, but people are too busy for that now. So fiction itself has changed drastically—we have to grab people by the neck and pull them in. Contemporary fiction writers are using the techniques of other fields—jazz, video games, everything. I think video games are closer to fiction than anything else these days.

Murakami’s novels include The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood, and Kafka on the Shore. He is also the author of several short story collections.

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