Haruki Murakami for Uniqlo
A T-shirt and a pair of jeans, and today we are immediately cool! But if Haruki Murakami designed the T-shirt, the choice of style also becomes cultured.
Uniqlo launches from 8 March a collection of t-shirts signed by the famous Japanese writer, 72, a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature for about a decade. All are inspired by the memorable phrases or surprising covers of six of his novels and also by the cat protagonist of Murakami RADIO, the musical program that he himself leads and produces.
The six novels are certainly among his most loved in Japan and around the world, let’s talk about 1973 pinball machine, Norwegian Wood, Dance Dance Dance, Sputnik Girl, Kafka on the Beach and IQ84.
If you haven’t read them yet, this is the right time to start. Let’s try to introduce them to you, even if for Murakami it is not a simple thing. The plots are always very complex, often they do not have an end, they pass from reality to imagination making the first fantastic and the second more real than true. All his books talk about love, death, family, growth, religion, sex … Life in all its complexity. And his writing has a strength that is truly out of the ordinary.
Pinball 1973 is the second story of “The Mouse Trilogy”: it tells the process of inner growth of two boys who met in a distant summer of 1969 at Jay’s Bar. But then their lives took them elsewhere, they separated and then completely lost. It is a story steeped in nostalgia, loneliness and melancholy. Will the protagonists meet again? If so, where and how? And will they know how to recognize each other? The story was combined with “Listen to the Song of the Wind” in a single volume entitled “Vento & Flipper” published by Einaudi.
Norwegian wood is set between Mykonos and Rome, it is a long flashback in which the narrator, a young Japanese who is now 37 years old, tells us about his sentimental education during his university years, animated by the desire to know Western culture, to the Great Gatsby for example, which the protagonist often re-reads and to the Beatles (the title of the book refers, for example, to a song from their 1965).
Dance Dance Dance
The sense of loss and abandonment also lingers in this novel. The protagonist is a freelance journalist, he is 34 years old and a separation behind him that undermines his precarious balance. We do not even know his name, it is inconclusive and all those he loves end up leaving him but … in Sapporo, there is a hotel, the Dolphin Hotel, where perhaps someone is waiting for him.
The girl from Sputnik
Real and surreal overlap in this novel featuring two women, Sumire, a young Japanese woman who loves literature and writing, reluctant to any kind of passionate love until she meets Myu, a wine expert and lover. of classical music. Between them a relationship of friendship and work is born … but at a certain point Sumire disappears. It is the narrator, his friend and confidant who will try to understand what happened
Kafka on the beach
Kafka on the beach mixes popular culture, magical realism, suspense, humor and, as often happens in Murakami’s novels, quite powerful sexuality. The plot is very complex and tells two parallel stories in alternating chapters: that of Tamura Kafka, 15, abandoned by her mother and sister at the age of 4 in the odd chapters and that of Nakata, an old man who was a bit stupid afterwards. of a mysterious child accident in even ones. The presence of music used as a means of communication is very strong. The title itself comes from a song Tamura Kafka heard on a disc in the library. Beethoven’s Archduke trio is used many times as a metaphor
IQ84 is a tribute to 1984 by the British writer George Orwell. It is divided into three books, published by Einaudi (book 1 and 2 in one volume and book 3 in another). It all begins on a day in April 1984, when the 30-year-old Aomame Masami, a ruthless and fragile killer, is in a bottled taxi on the elevated Tōkyō bypass 3. We do not tell you anything about the plot. IQ84 is one of those novels to read without knowing absolutely anything.