Magical Thinking

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When quizzed on his characters’ romantic proclivities, Haruki Murakami errs towards empathy:

I occasionally think that, in our heart of hearts, we all may be seeking situations like this one—where our free will doesn’t apply and (almost) everything is determined by someone else, where each day must be lived according to the conditions that someone else has laid down. There are people who may already be living that sort of life, to a greater or lesser extent, without even knowing it. Some may dismiss this way of living as “passive.” I have no interest in such deterministic interpretations. What interests me is trying to ferret out the identity that is so deftly concealed within the accumulation of such passive operations.

He and Deborah Treisman talk more at the New Yorker; the interview comes on the heels of his short story, Scheherazade.


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →