Haruki Murakami: If a computer had as many bugs as my head, it could break

The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami (Kyoto, 1949) is not very concerned about the arrival of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the field of literature and defends the traditional way of conceiving and preparing the work by its author despite Be aware that this “slow” way of transmitting information in a digitalized world is for a minority in whose strength, however, you trust.

“My head is full of mistakes and I write with that head. “If a computer had as many bugs as I have in my head, it could break,” says Murakami ironically in an interview with EFE in Oviedo, where on Friday he will receive the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature for his ability to reconcile Japanese tradition and legacy. of Western culture in an ambitious and innovative work.

For the author of “Tokio blues”, “the human head is capable of functioning even with errors, but a computer is not like that”, a distrust towards Artificial Intelligence that extends to social networks despite having carried out initiatives such as a consultation with its readers through a website, an experience that was reflected in one of his books.

“I have tried social networks a little, but I came to the conclusion that they do not work for me, so I do not use them now,” Murakami reflected after lamenting that, at first, they could help create a democracy “in some way.” “new” and having ended up “disappointed” until throwing them away.

The influence of social networks and the entire digitalization process can cause, the most read Japanese writer in the world has pointed out, that to a large majority of internet users the pace of novels seems “very slow”, although to the time he has been convinced that literary works “last longer.”

“That’s why I have faith in the power of novels and stories. Perhaps there is very little population in the world that accepts later or slower information. Even if it is ten or even 5 percent, I have a lot of confidence in the strength of those people,” she stressed.

“I only write what I feel like”

On his third visit to Spain to be awarded after receiving the San Clemente Prize in 2009, awarded by the students of the Rosalía de Castro Institute in Santiago de Compostela – “they chose my book as the best of the year,” he recalls – and the Catalonia International Prize In 2011, Murakami claims to feel “grateful” for an award for which, like the Nobel Prize, he dreamed of decades ago.

The jury’s report recognized his ability to express some of the great themes and conflicts of our time such as loneliness, existential uncertainty, dehumanization in big cities, terrorism or body care and his own reflection on creative work. in addition to a character of “bridge” between the eastern and western culture of the one who denies.

“I only write what I want and I don’t think anything about playing a role from the East or the West, or about serving as a bridge,” warns Murakami , who came to literature after years as a translator of authors such as Truman Capote, Scott Fitzgerald, JD Salinger, Raymond Caver and John Irving, all of whom he read in English during his time in high school.

Thus, when he decided to close the jazz bar that he ran in Tokyo with his wife to dedicate himself completely to literature, his “challenge” consisted of how to express himself in the Japanese language based on the undeniable influence that those authors had had on him.

Books, music and cats

Initially listed as a cult author and later converted into one of the best-selling writers in the world, Murakami, who is more than evasive with all types of public events, emphatically admits during the interview that he does not feel “comfortable” with the fact of being famous given that he He considers himself “an intimate person who writes intimate stories.”

“I prefer a quiet life. I’m happy just having books, music and cats with me. Even so, I am very happy that many people read me,” says the author of “Baila, baila, baila,” a renowned music lover although he proudly confesses to having been able to distance the music from his latest novels.

However, he notes, music comes “naturally” to him and always accompanies him. “When I get up and when I start writing I listen to classical music. When I run or drive the car, I listen to rock and at night, jazz,” he says about the musical diet he follows daily and remembers, also with gratitude, Patti Smith’s proposal that the Nobel Prize awarded to Bob Dylan should have gone to him. .

At 74 years old, Murakami is also satisfied and does not regret the decision to close his jazz club in Tokyo, the Peter Cat, at the end of the 1970s: “It was good for me to work all the time concentrating on writing as a writer dedicated only to it. It was very difficult to combine two professions,” he recalls about the first steps of a literary career.

A vocation for writing that the first Japanese author to win the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature claims was awakened in him at the age of 29 while watching a baseball game, the sport that also inspired the literary path of the award-winning author in 2015. the Cuban Leonardo Padura.