Sunday, 26 June 2011

Haruki Murakami — Jazz Messenger




Taking time out this weekend to daydream (someone's go to) so here's part of an interview (the good bits) from the great Japanese writer Haruki Murakami from the New York Times:

I read a lot from the time I was a little kid, and I got so deeply into the worlds of the novels I was reading that it would be a lie if I said I never felt like writing anything. But I never believed I had the talent to write fiction. In my teens I loved writers like Dostoyevsky, Kafka and Balzac, but I never imagined I could write anything that would measure up to the works they left us. And so, at an early age, I simply gave up any hope of writing fiction. I would continue to read books as a hobby, I decided, and look elsewhere for a way to make a living.


When I turned 29, all of a sudden out of nowhere I got this feeling that I wanted to write a novel — that I could do it. I couldn’t write anything that measured up to Dostoyevsky or Balzac, of course, but I told myself it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to become a literary giant. Still, I had no idea how to go about writing a novel or what to write about. I had absolutely no experience, after all, and no ready-made style at my disposal. I didn’t know anyone who could teach me how to do it, or even friends I could talk with about literature. My only thought at that point was how wonderful it would be if I could write like playing an instrument.


One of my all-time favorite jazz pianists is Thelonious Monk. Once, when someone asked him how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano, Monk pointed to the keyboard and said: “It can’t be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!”


For the full interview and lots more cool stuff I've been assembling from all over the web, please visit 'The Funnily Enough'. Inspiration, amusement, rare gems and brilliant ideas — all for writers.
Follow me on twitter: @mooderino


21 comments:

Suze said...

“It can’t be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!”

Tears.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Very cool, thanks for posting this.

Munk said...

That is just plain cool, but then, so is Thelonious Monk.

Jen said...

This is a great post, and I think you've really hit something here. So I might never be as good as the masters, but who cares? I'm doing this for me, and not them, and I'll play my own damn song!

I love "The Funnily Enough" as well! Thanks for putting one of my posts there. I feel all special!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Like creating music - interesting!

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

I think it's funny that Murakami though he wasn't good enough, because he's one of those authors who can make me feel utterly clueless. I liked Kafka on the Shore, but I always thought I was missing something. Thanks for posting this. :)

mooderino said...

@Suze - indeed.

@Laoch - I'm not usually a big fan of pulling quotes, nothing is as universal as nicely worded epigram makes out, but he seemed to be saying a lot of things here that hit home with me.

@Munk - although coolness comes at a price, whether its drug abuse or an addiction to long distance running.

@Jen - you are special.

@Alex - I thought so too.

@Darlyn - he quite a unique writer, not sure what rules he's following, probably none.

Michael Offutt said...

When I decided to write, it happened much later in my life than most. I don't know why it happened...it just did.

Alleged Author said...

Doing something for yourself instead of imitating famous works always equals success in some way. Thanks for sharing!

Lydia K said...

Nice interview! I remember getting that itch a few years ago, the "I MUST write a novel right now" one.

I'm glad I found you on Twitter recently. You have such great stuff to twitter about!

Libby said...

Cool interview! Now, back to my break. :)

Ben said...

Wow, great bit from the master. I love this guy. He keeps things simple and personal enough. So that he keeps having fun writing.

N. R. Williams said...

Interesting interview. The comparison between writing and music is a good one.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Christa said...

I like the "Funnily Enough"...just so you know. It's a great resource. And jazz pianist...this one time, I bumped into...oh forget, story for another time. :)

Liz Fichera said...

Cool guy. Thanks for the link!

Ellie Garratt said...

I really enjoyed this - thank you for the link!

Kim said...

I read Kafka on The Shore - and it really was kind of musical...

mooderino said...

Cheers for the comments. Glad you guys liked the quote.

Travis Erwin said...

Nice. I'm always in need if some inspiration and this post certainly filled the bill.

Madeleine said...

I can identify with what he says. I've not heard of Haruki Murakami before :O)

mooderino said...

@Travis-glad to help.

@Madeleine-he's a great writer, well worth a read.

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