February 27, 2015 By Jun Hongo

Haruki Murakami on Writing Novels and Bob Dylan


Author Haruki Murakami has continued to answer 20 to 30 questions per day on his temporary ‘ask-me-anything’-style website, which has received more than 30,000 messages from fans according to organizers. Although the website stopped taking any new questions on Jan. 31, the author is scheduled to continue posting his replies until about late March.

In a recent response to a question about his workflow, Mr. Murakami said that he usually starts writing his novels in one flow then works on the details afterwards. “Trying to write thoroughly from the beginning makes it difficult to create a flow,” he said. The author wrote that polishing what he has written is the best part of the job; he even went as far as to say that he writes novels so that he can enjoy the process of refining it later.

In answering a separate question on what he does to refresh while working, Mr. Murakami said he typically warms up a cup of coffee and enjoys some cookies.

“I wouldn’t do something like picking my nose. That’s gross. You wouldn’t want to read a novel written with such hands, right?” he said.

One 34-year-old female fan asked if the author would continue to work if he had no fans. “Even if no one was reading my books, I would write it if I felt like writing a novel,” he said, but also added that he would quit if he felt like quitting even if the world was awaiting a new novel. “It’s simple as that,” he said.

As for what book he looks forward to reading the most, Mr. Murakami had a simple answer.

“That’s a very easy question. It’s definitely the next novel that I will write,” he wrote.

In response to a question from a fan regarding the difference between Bob Dylan and Huey Lewis, Mr. Murakami expressed his admiration towards Mr. Dylan and his music.

“I personally like Huey Lewis very much,” Mr. Murakami wrote, but added that Mr. Dylan changed both the music itself and the world.

“Without Bob Dylan, I think music would be very different from what it is today. That’s the precise difference between the two, I believe, although it’s natural for someone to have a different opinion. Sorry, Huey,” he wrote.

courtesy: The Wall Street Journal

Posted in: Fiction shelf