Thursday, March 09, 2006

Haruki Murakami interviewed

in Runners World (he and Joyce Carol Oates must be the two most famous writers-who-run, no?):

One aspect that I have gained from running in the past 22 years that has most pleased me is that it has helped me develop respect about my own physical being.

I think to realize this is very important for all human beings.

To have such respect for your own body makes it possible to do the same for others. If more people on the earth shared this same feeling, there should be no terrorism or wars. Obviously, to our great disappointment, things are not that simple, that much I understand.

The most important qualities to be a fiction writer are probably imaginative ability, intelligence, and focus. But in order to maintain these qualities in a high and constant level, you must never neglect to keep up your physical strength.

Without a solid base of physical strength, you can't accomplish anything very intricate or demanding. That's my belief. If I did not keep running, I think my writing would be very different from what it is now.

This is cheering, I don't like running very much (if at all; I mean, I do a bit of it now and then, on a treadmill, strictly for fitness purposes, but I don't find it enjoyable) but I do like Haruki Murakami a lot and (unrelated) I have been spending huge amounts of time and energy this year on exercise, it is heartening to see someone intellectual make the official argument in its favor. Secretly I still feel that maximum productivity is ensured by large amounts of caffeine and nicotine, highly irregular sleep hours and occasional overindulgence in alcohol to let off steam (exercise does not form a part of this regime), but I see that this is not sustainable in the long run....

On another unrelated note, except that it vaguely has to do with sport, that Sports Illustrated piece by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams about Barry Bonds and steroids is really an excellent read.

(Thanks to Conversational Reading for the running link and The Millions for the Bonds one. And Game of Shadows is now at #4 on Amazon, how fun.)

It's clearly one of those weird blog-addicted days, I've got one more post TK in a little bit after I go and retrieve my laundry from the laundromat. It is going to be a great luxury, aside from all the other reasons, to be back in NY in an apartment where there's laundry in the basement.


  1. Hi. I quoted your comment in my recent entry; Haruki Murakami to Run Boston Marathon to show how much he's recognized as ' writers-who-run' here. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for alerting me to this interview. Now I can be doubly inspired by Murakami: to get at my desk to work at fiction earlier in the morning, to run more each week.