Between two languages

According to Wittgenstein, there are two kinds of languages: objective language, which is logically and easily communicable by anyone who reads it, and private language, which is difficult to explain via language. Earlier in my career, I thought that a novelist is someone who had both his feet in the realm of private language, that he would just withdraw messages from private language/thought to create his stories. But since when, I don’t know, I realized that the language in a novel gains a special strength if I skillfully mix and alternate private language with objective language; the story itself becomes more dimensional through this process, as well.

Haruki Murakami, discussing his new three volume novel 1Q84. This tension between private language and and objective language drives Murakami’s novels, and it’s largely what sets Murakami’s work apart from that of other writers. His characters are so compelling because they travel uneasily between these two languages.

English-speakers like me will have to wait until September 2011 for the first two volumes of 1Q84. That’s almost a year. I might just have to reread Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World to get me through.

Like the novel itself, the interview is divided into three parts:

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