The pattern seems universal: ..study and hard work…prepared mind…being stuck…sudden shift…letting go of control..of self. A Lightman
I’m a loner. I don’t like groups, schools, literary circles. At Princeton, there was a luncheonette, or something like that, and I was invited to eat there. Joyce Carol Oates was there and Toni Morrison was there and I was so afraid, I couldn’t eat anything at all! Mary Morris was there and she’s a very nice person, almost the same age as I am, and we became friends, I would say. But in Japan I don’t have any writer friends, because I just want to have . . . distance….
During the four years of writing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I was living in the U.S. as a stranger. That “strangeness” was always following me like a shadow and it did the same to the protagonist of the novel. Come to think of it, if I wrote it in Japan, it might have become a very different book.
My strangeness while living in the U.S. differed from the strangeness I feel while in Japan. It was more obvious and direct in the U.S. and that gave me a much clearer recognition of myself. The process of writing this novel was a process similar to making myself naked, in a way….
I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.
I prefer translating to criticism, because you are hardly required to judge anything when you translate. Line by line, I just let my favorite work pass through my body and my mind. We need critiques in this world, for sure, but it’s just not my job.
Haruki Murakami, The Art of Fiction No. 182
…Reynard. He time travels. Saying it like that doesn’t really do him justice. And, he’s not really a he.
I benefited greatly from being a teacher—that is, from being able to spend a great deal of time reading, writing and educating myself.
Paul Auster, The Art of Fiction No. 178
The only thing that mattered was saying the thing that needed to be said. Without regard to preestablished conventions, without worrying about what it soundedlike.