Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is Haruki Murakami the Thelonius Monk of Fiction?

From 1974 through 1981, Haruki Murakami ran a jazz club in Tokyo, Japan, and wondered what direction his life would run. After long soul searching, his life ran in the direction of becoming a novelist. He hasn’t stopped running since, producing 13 novels that not only have won international awards, but also have been translated into over 50 languages, thus making him the most well-known Japanese novelist in the world. His latest novel to be translated into English, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, adds to his oeuvre one more tale of dreamy, surreal, puzzling, yet oddly beautiful human existence. Despite his success, Murakami (shown above) still faces criticism for his writing style, which some see as overly simple and occasionally downright ugly—criticisms once aimed at the Murakami beloved bebop jazz, the style employed by the enigmatic, brilliant pianist Thelonious Monk. Is Haruki Murakami the Thelonius Monk of fiction? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is Haruki Murakami the Thelonius Monk of Fiction?"

1 comment:

Hels said...

Loving this bit of art history, thanks.

Perhaps artists did need religious inspiration for their works. But more than inspiration, they needed patronage. Until art auction houses and retailers emerged, the only way to succeed in the art world was to have a patron commission a specific work.

In European terms, that largely meant the Catholic Church. Until merchant families in places like The Netherlands, Italy, France and Britain wanted art for their own walls, an artist would have been committing suicide, if he didn't meet his religious patrons' needs.