Author Haruki Murakami says pandemic, war in Ukraine create walls that divide people

Streaming HUBJune 7, 2023

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese author Haruki Murakami says that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, walls are increasingly being built dividing people and countries.

“Walls are constantly being raised around us, with feelings of suspicion replacing mutual trust,” Murakami said at Wellesley College in late April. That speech, “Writing Fiction in a Time of Epidemic and War,” was released Wednesday in The Shincho Monthly Literary Magazine, published by the Shincho Company.

“It seems everyone has a choice – to hide behind walls, maintaining security and the status quo, or, knowing the risks, emerge beyond the walls in search of a freer value system,” he said.

Like the protagonist in his new novel.

“The City and Its Uncertain Walls” was released in Japan in April and an English translation is expected in 2024. The protagonist, as described by Murakami, faces a difficult choice between two worlds: a walled city of peace in which there is no desire or suffering, and the real world beyond the walls full of pain, desire and contradictions. .

The novel is based on a story he wrote for a magazine soon after becoming a novelist but was never published in book form. He said he knew it contained important ideas and put it aside because he wanted to rewrite it.

Nearly 40 years later, he found that “the story fits perfectly with the age we live in now.”

Murakami began rewriting the book in March 2020, shortly after the worldwide spread of COVID-19, and finished it two years later, as the war in Ukraine passed its one-year mark.

“Two big events combined to change the world in dramatic ways,” he said.

The sense of security that came with a common belief in globalism and mutual economic and cultural interdependence, Murakami said, “was shattered with Russia’s sudden invasion of Ukraine.” Military preparedness and budget.

Murakami said that as the war continues without end, higher walls are being built around people, between countries and individuals. “It seems to me that the mental state—if someone is not your ally, he is your enemy—keeps spreading.”

Can our trust in each other once again dispel our doubts? Can knowledge conquer fear? The answers to these questions have been entrusted to us. And instead of an immediate answer, we are going through a thorough investigation, which will take time, Murakami said.

He says that, while there is not much a novelist can do, “I sincerely hope that novels and stories can lend their power to this kind of investigation. It’s something we novelists look forward to.”

Murakami has made other efforts to encourage people to think, confront fear, or break down walls. A month after Russia invaded Ukraine, he hosted the radio show “Music to Put and War”. His Japanese translation of “The Last Flower,” a 1939 anti-war picture book by former New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber, will be released later this month from Poplar Shaw.

Did the hero live inside the walls? Murakami said, “Please try reading the book yourself.”

Comments are closed.
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.