Murakami meets with students: "Those of you who don’t get good grades will be better novelists."

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Haruki Murakami He knows how to win over the audience, at least the majority of them. Not to Swedish academics, but to younger Asturians. “Those of you who don’t get good grades will be better novelists”. Applause. It is understood that they get better than what they do. The idea was not to give encouragement, although perhaps a little, but rather the premonition was the result of a fine analysis of what makes a good novelist. Or better yet, what a novelist needs to simply be a novelist. Or better yet, what makes Murakami, Murakami.

The last Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, as well as a successful writer without a Nobel Prize, said that the important thing is “cultivate the capacity to welcome”that “excessive analysis makes the work of writing difficult,” that he has known very smart men with incredible acuity in analyzing reality and who, however, cannot concoct a line. “People who are too intelligent are not usually good writers; they are bad novelists,” says. “I write when I accept something and introduce it inside me, without prior analysis,” she continues. And that’s when he encourages not exactly the stupid ones, but the not necessarily brilliant students. Big applause.

And why so much applause? Well, because in front of him was a large group of ESO and high school students, all gathered on Thursday in the middle of a rainy morning to listen to what, it can be said without risk of being wrong, is their favorite author. But were they all bad students? Not at all, and judging by the story that one of the students read, it would seem that just the opposite. So? Let’s admit it, the bad ones are more boisterous. And Murakami knows it. Another applause.

Haruki Murakami came to the IES Carreño Miranda in Avilés to act as master of ceremonies for a small experiment. The idea was that students who had previously worked on his texts would meet him. And with him they shared an hour out of relaxed force. Like in his bookT: The T-Shirts I Love‘ (2021) where he uses his hobby of collecting t-shirts to string together a series of stories, the students (the smart ones and the others) were invited to do something similar. That is, to be a bit ‘murakami’ with their own t-shirts. And in total there were 568 stories that used the T-shirt hanger (joke) to better understand Murakami.

And that was when he showed the t-shirt that he was wearing as a gift from a Spanish publisher. And that’s when he described in detail what it means to be a writer. He said that to write you have to reach the very bottom of your heart and the deepest part of your conscience. “Our consciousness is like a house with its floors and, much more important, its basement. In the upstairs room we sleep; in the downstairs we interact with the family and eat, and in the basement we are alone with the subconscious. And there is a secret door that takes us further down to basement 2. And it is with everything we find there that a novel is made. But you have to be willing to get there. It is not easy. Does anyone “Does any of you have a basement 2?” And in the question he left not so much a threat as an invitation to everyone, although more to the not so smart ones. “It is there deep down where the important things are found that are above religion, language and custom; It is there where the writer finds his readers regardless of the religion they profess, the language they speak or the customs they inhabit.” Is it clear?

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