Murakami settles in memories of adolescence and youth

The eternal candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Haruki Murakami (Kyoto, Japan, 1949), internationally recognized with important literary awards (Franz Kafka, Noma, Tanizaki, Jerusalem Prize, Hans Christian Andersen, Order of Arts and Letters in Spain. ..) and author of acclaimed novels such as Tokyo Blues, Kafka on the Shore, 1Q84 or The death of the commander, just released First person of singular (Tusquets, 2021), a volume of short stories highly anticipated by its unconditional readers.

Eight fables in which the memories of adolescence and youth oscillate on the limits of the real and the fictional. Nostalgia in the spirals of imprints in which jazz, pop music, lost illusions, eroticism, baseball, loneliness, omens, reunions, search and, above all, lin memory of love they are evident because “no one will be able to take away the memory of having loved or of having been in love at some time in life”, subscribes the author of the applauded novel South of the border, west of the sun.

“Haruki Murakami is a living classic. Each new book is consumed in themes that could seem repetitive; but, no: the Japanese narrator always adorns them with new musings, with passages in which human acts confront each other in the shadows of unexpected circumstances. It is one of the greatest creative spirits of contemporary Japanese literature ”, he expressed in an interview with The reason University of Florida professor Ángel Rosenthal Aviel, specialist in Asian literature and a scholar of Murakami’s work.

Autobiographical accounts? Eight stories told in the first person, the self as the protagonist: sometimes, Murakami himself is glimpsed, those who know his hobbies and passions discover him in some of the stories; however, the rote intersects with fiction and is amalgamated to offer readers insights embedded in the literary.

The everyday as a space to reveal latent human conflicts in contemporary life? Love is the lynchpin of most of Murakami’s novels, from Tokyo blues to The death of the commander without ignoring the rumblings of childhood and adolescence. Loves lost and also recovered in a speech that condenses a shock of disorder with the world that urges contemporary man.

Music, especially jazz, the common thread of these stories? Murakami is an incurable music lover: he proves it in the volume Music, just music in which he establishes a dialogue with the famous conductor Seiji Ozawa. The interesting thing about these stories is based on the link between these love stories – eight plots illuminated by the funnels of love – with passages of songs or with jazzy edges as in “Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova” or “Whith The Beatles”.

And the melancholy? Key element in his writing, I think about Tokyo blues or South of the border, west of the sun: two novels of longings. In this new book, the evocation of a woman, a melody or the echo of the past trace intensely melancholic scenarios, in these tasks, Haruki Murakami achieves masterful moments, not to forget Spunik, my love.

Will you be recognized with the Nobel Prize? I spoke with him in London before the pandemic, he did not want to touch the subject: I do not think he is worried about the matter; it is the readers who are concerned about that. He is an author who, due to the trajectory of his work, deserves the Nobel, although some do not consider it that way. Let’s hope.

“Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova”
By Haruki Murakami

Of course, there is no album titled Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova. Charlie Parker died on March 12, 1955, and bossa nova reached American soil in 1962, introduced by musicians like Stan Getz. But it is not unlikely that Bird would have shown an interest in this new style had he lived in the sixties, and, why not, that he would have been encouraged to adopt it in his interpretations. Starting from such an assumption, I invented an album as a result of this hypothetical musical adoption and devised a fictional review of it, which resulted in the article mentioned and transcribed in part of these pages.

The grace of the matter resides in that the editor-in-chief of the university magazine that agreed to publish it really believed in the existence of the disc and took my criticism as authentic and genuine, without suspecting its authenticity. His younger brother, a good friend of mine, spoke to him of my virtues with the pen and promoted my cause (the magazine published only four issues before closing, in the third of which my review appeared).

Fragment taken from a tale by Pfirst person singular.

First person of singular

  • Author: Haruki Murakami
  • Genre: Short story
  • Publisher: Tusquets, 2021
Haruki Murakami

  • Born: January 12, 1949
  • Awards: Franz Kafka Prize (2006), the Fantasy World (2006), the Jerusalem (2009) and the Hans Christian Andersen for Literature (2016)

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Murakami settles in memories of adolescence and youth