Haruki Murakami on Memory Versus Reality

February 19, 2020

A new Haruki Murakami story is bound to make waves, and his latest one, “With the Beatles,” in The New Yorker is no exception. Memory is at the forefront as the author discusses the story with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. “When I was in high school, I passed a girl in the hallway, a girl whose name I didn’t know, who was clutching a copy of ‘With the Beatles’ to her as if it were something precious,” Murakami says. “That scene was etched in my mind and became a symbol, for me, of adolescence. Sometimes scraps of memory like that can be the trigger that brings a story into being. But the reality we actually deal with is different from a symbol. And sometimes nothing can fill in the gap between the two—between symbol and reality. This story is fiction, of course, but my guess is that most people have experienced something similar.”

Bonus Links from Our Archive:
The Elusive Qualities of Dreams: On Haruki Murakami’s ‘The Strange Library’
Aloof, Quiet, and Dissonant: On Haruki Murakami’s ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Image credit: in_rainbows69/flickr

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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