If you prefer your practical advice to come with a healthy dose of surrealism, look no further: the acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami will offer readers advice in an online “agony uncle” column. The website, which launches on January 15, will be called “Murakami-san no tokoro” (translation: “Mr. Murakami’s Place).
According to Shinchosha Publishing, the postmodern writer/director will both offer advice to troubled fans and respond to personal questions regarding Murakami’s own life. Murakami will be accepting questions, in any language, through the end of January, and his responses will be published over the following two months. No URL or email address has yet been provided — you’ll have to wait for the announcement to break the literary-world Internet. Or obsessively refresh the Shinchosha Publishing website. (A pretty postmodern situation, actually. Murakami would approve.)
The prolific writer came up with the idea to launch an open forum as a way to get in touch with his fans. It’s a pretty unusual thought, considering Murakami’s infamously reclusive reputation. But regardless of whether you worship at the feet of this cultish novelist, or mostly know/avoid him as the force behind the 1,184-page behemoth 1Q84, all of us literary fans will be waiting patiently for Murakami’s surely bizarre answers to surely bizarre questions.
What could those questions be, you may ask? Personally, I'm hoping some intrepid fans will ask the following:
- How, exactly, does one best get away with arson? Just, like, hypothetically.
- Which is the more accomplished musical composition: The Beatles' Rubber Soul or Mozart's The Queen of the Night's Aria?
- What's your favorite kind of tea?