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“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”

Verantwortlicher Autor: Kurt Lehberger Tokio, 23.11.2023, 21:39 Uhr
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Tokio [ENA] Book review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running By Haruki Murakami. How did it come about that Marukami started writing? It was a whim, not a real intention to start a career. Trial and error. Why not do it that way? He did it with his jazz club and was successful. He wrote the novel Hear the Wind Sing in 1978 and won a prize. So he could write and get paid for it.

The next novel, Pinball, 1973, was published in 1982. I see my readers in my head. I want to develop, to get better, and a real, conceptual human relationship helps me to progress and improve. Like running, training helps you reach peak performance. Murakami applies the Pareto principle without mentioning it. He wants to run his jazz club in such a way that 1 in 10 is satisfied and comes back. This is also how he sees the readers of his books. If 1 in 10 like it, they will buy his next book. He is an early riser. He starts early in the morning and works hard, but doesn't forget to take breaks and exercise. His productive time is from 5am to 10pm. He regularly sits down at his desk for four hours and writes or thinks, takes notes

or translates something. Murakami has translated "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He wondered how such a young man could have so much human experience. F. Scott Fitzgerald was only 29 years old. He must have been a real talent, a giant. His training for the marathon consisted of a 5-mile course in Imperia Park, which he repeated 7 times to reach the marathon distance. He explained that the marathon becomes difficult after about the first 22 miles. It's the strength of will, the mental strength that counts. He eats fresh fish and vegetables and abstains from stimulants to get fit for the marathon. What counts are the three pillars: talent, concentration and perseverance.

Talented writers are rare. Most writers have had to work hard to complete the story. He enjoys writing as much as he enjoys running. And both are important. Aptitudes can be adjusted, essence cannot. So he believes he has a talent, a talent for long-distance running and for top writing. Without running, he would not have finished the novels. He is proud to have completed the novels and he is curious about what comes next. He would say this is life - the development and relationship between body and mind. He has balanced the stories between inner and outer things. Fantasy and reality. Contemplation on this takes place while running. Some things are achieved through reflection, others through intuition or by chance. Unconsciously.

He compares himself as a long-distance runner to the proud pony-tailed runners from Harvard University who don't know what pain is. They are always on the sunny side of life, and it seems that they live in a perfect world: young, pretty, rich, successful. He claims to know what matters, what he knows about running. The best experience was the super marathon he ran and achieved. He ran the last few kilometers like an autopilot. He did a lot of work with his arms because his feet didn't obey him, didn't do what they should have done. Murakami felt resigned after the super marathon. He developed a new relationship with running. He took up triathlon.

His retrospective is a valuable reflection. As a young man, he had made a list of shortcomings he had discovered, the "sad table of my life", as he said. But then he came to the conclusion that we all have shortcomings, but also unpredictable sides. Debts and assets are a given, but you have to make the best of them. He failed in swimming. He solved the problem by taking on a coach. Eventually he got his revenge and managed the race. Sometimes you want to do something, but you can't do it. "Sometimes taking your time is a shortcut".

Good things take time and slow thinking is sometimes a valuable approach. Learning from experience is a lot of fun. Experience is often associated with pain. Pain is necessary. That's life and overcoming pain is what a marathon runner has experienced. You have to put up with something that is inefficient and fruitless. That's life.

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