Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?


Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?

When everyone waited expectantly that the Nobel prize for literature for 1912 would go to Murakami , the name of Mo Yan was announced. Not many had read him before. Some booklovers even never heard about him. People sought consolation in the fact, that at least some Asian has won the prize.

Despite the hype and nomination why Murakami missed it? The literary world debates like academician. Most of the books of Murakami are best sellers and after his epic IQ84 he was considered as a potential contender of The Prize. At least the name would remind people of a great work of George Orwell, since in Japanese language 9 is written as Q. The novel is interesting and two moons could be symbolic of many things. What it lacks is a nucleus. The Author is not an entertainer, he has a social responsibility. Where is the voice against social injustice and satires against totalitarian political system which 1984 had?

So far people know that Mo Yan wrote stories about his village, what he had seen and faced all his life. So it touches the core of the heart and makes you realize that human emotion all over the world are identical. Many would not like to argue whether Mo Yan’s work is hallucinatory realism or magical realism, for a common man all magic is hallucinatory.

Everyone believes that the decisions of committee have remained controversial since its inception in 1901. Chekhov and Tolstoy were deliberately overlooked just because they were Russian and “ideal direction” was misinterpreted to favor certain authors. But same is not true for Japan. Japan has already won the Nobel Prize in literature twice,   Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburō Ōe in 1994.

If committee could ignore Kafka (“The Metamorphosis”, “The trial” and “The Castle”) himself, they could easily ignore the author of “Kafka at the shore”. Though his most popular work of Murakami is “Norwegian Wood”.

Let us listen to this famous Beatles song "Norwegian Wood":


The book reflects western influence on the author. He behaves differently in Japan and USA. He is not brand of Japan. An author carries the weight of cultural values and ethos of the community where he is rooted. If he is to go up, he has to go down.

The fusion of realistic and fantastic in the novels of Haruki Murakami is unparalleled but “The Wave” is not for that. The wave is of “Magical Realism” and “Red Sorghum” is about that.

                                                                                               ~Vipin Behari Goyal