Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Beloved in the West, scorned by Japanese literati.

Not Murakami again! I hear you say, but I like Murakami so whatcha gonna do?

The Age has an interesting article on the author, and it includes some titbits that I was previously unaware of:
Despite what Japan's most hidebound pundits argue, Murakami's writing has always been closer to his homeland than the fictional universes of Fitzgerald, Carver and Chandler. Occidental critics ritually compare Murakami with postmodernists such as Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon. But in Japan, as Murakami tells it, "people do not think my stories are postmodern". In Japanese spirituality, the divide between the real and the fantastic is permeable, so his tales of unicorn skulls, six-foot frogs, star-patterned sheep and Colonel Sanders are "very natural".
Ah, gotta love Japanese surrealism.


  1. that's fascinating!

    when i talked to a famous japanese poet and academic i was also amazed to find that maurukami is not really considered respectable by the literary establishment who regards what he writes as pop fiction ...

  2. That's probably because he avoids the local literary groups and refuses interviews from the local press. They probably think he's thumbing his nose at them!

  3. I've got to properly introduce you to my hubs. He's in love with everything Japanese and not to mention mangas and animes. I have loads of them at home and I think you probably do too.

  4. I'd love to meet your husband. However, I'm no longer the anime/manga geek (or otaku, whatever) I think you imagine me to be.

    Besides, the only anime/manga I go for are down-to-earth romance for teen girls...

    Er... did I just let a skeleton out of my closet...?


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