Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Murakami on Fiction, Truth, and Lies

"Fiction," he told his audience in Israel in 2009 when he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, the nation’s highest literary award, garners its power “by telling skillful lies–––which is to say, by making up fiction [Art] that appear to be true.

"The novelist can bring a truth out to a new location and shine a new light on it.  In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately.  This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form.

"In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth lies within us.  This is  an important qualification for making up good lies.”    
---Japanese author Haruki Murakami
Full text of acceptance speech at Douban.com
Thanks, Dave and Randy


roddy said...

ugh! i can't stand artists talking about greater truths.

i don't mind if they talk about the mechanics of how they create, the mental, spiritual and physical processes they go thru as they create there respective artworks, but when they lapse into talks of greater truths, they tend to sound like narcissistic, self-involved prats.

of course, like many folks, artist and lay person alike, i have a blog where i prattle on endlessly like the fools i've just derided -- yeeesh!

Brad Teare said...
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Brad Teare said...

Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors. He has a new book out, 1Q84, which is riff on Orwell's 1984. I try not to know too much about Murakami's books before I read them. It spoils the fun.

I read the speech you linked to. Wow! I may not always agree with Murakami but he is a unique mind expressing his ideas in a unique way. I thought his speech was short but meaningful.

As to why confabulation is a culturally acceptable activity the book The Art Instinct gives some interesting insights (such as fiction as vicarious experience).

Interesting insights. I'm always intrigued by creative people's perspectives.

Leland Purvis said...

Hardboiled Wonderland and The End of the World is one of my favorites in the last few years. Recommend it highly.