Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Last week The Guardian announced that it was going to interview Haruki Murakami in Edinburgh and if anyone wanted to put a question to him, they would try and get it answered. I think they got about two hundred questions; they are here if anyone is interested. One of them is from me, ‘Have you ever lived down a well ?How long for? How deep was it?’

Bit naive really and in fact in the resume of his answers published yesterday, he doesn’t reply to any question directly, just says, ‘My lifetime dream is to live down a well!’ So there you go. At least he responded, I suppose but it wouldn’t have disturbed his Japanese inscrutability to say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

I loved Wind-up Bird, which I read at the time. I’ve read it three times, which is unusual for me. It went on to sell 27 million copies but back then there were just a few of us proselytising about it. I read Norwegian Wood after that. Liked it but [Eek!] liked the film better. In fact, I had to watch the film twice.

There is some stuff on CIF about other authors who have written about wells but I haven’t followed it up. I don’t care that much; I am not some kind of fanatical completist that needs to know who or where Murakami got his ideas from. Personally, I think he started with the idea of where the remotest spot on earth might be, decided it was at the bottom of a well in the middle of the Gobi Desert, and worked back from there.

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