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Haruki Murakami

It is hard to be an individual in Japan.

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Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that's how we've got to live.

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There's no such thing as perfect writing, just like there's no such thing as perfect despair.

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Most young people were getting jobs in big companies, becoming company men. I wanted to be individual.

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You are 27 or 28 right? It is very tough to live at that age. When nothing is sure. I have sympathy with you.

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I lost some of my friends because I got so famous, people who just assumed that I would be different now. I felt like everyone hated me. That is the most unhappy time of my life.

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In Japan they prefer the realistic style. They like answers and conclusions, but my stories have none. I want to leave them wide open to every possibility. I think my readers understand that openness.

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When I write about a 15-year old, I jump, I return to the days when I was that age. It's like a time machine. I can remember everything. I can feel the wind. I can smell the air. Very actually. Very vividly.

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I am 55 years old now. It takes three years to write one book. I don't know how many books I will be able to write before I die. It is like a countdown. So with each book I am praying - please let me live until I am finished.

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I didn't want to be a writer, but I became one. And now I have many readers, in many countries. I think that's a miracle. So I think I have to be humble regarding this ability. I'm proud of it and I enjoy it, and it is strange to say it this way, but I respect it.

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