Murakami on the Insane Mind

All human beings have a sickness in their minds. That space is a part of them. We have a sane part of our minds and an insane part. We negotiate between those two parts; that is my belief. I can see the insane part of my mind especially well when I’m writing—insane is not the right word. Unordinary, unreal. I have to go back to the real world, of course, and pick up the sane part. But if I didn’t have the insane part, the sick part, I wouldn’t be here.


from The Art of Fiction No.182 (The Paris Review)

It’s wonderful to stumble on a writer’s thoughts, which explain feelings I share but struggle pinning down in words like this. I wonder who else can relate to this?



20 thoughts on “Murakami on the Insane Mind

    1. Absolutely. I’m also often impressed with how he keeps taking this approach with a new angle each time. On the other hand, there are a lot of repetitions and recurrences in the stories themselves or between stories that can, at times, be tedious.

      Thanks for stopping by 😉

  1. Murakami has a way of saying feelings in a blunt yet accurate manner. I love the novels of his I have read so far.

    When I write my mind exists in a different way to how it is when I’m not writing.

  2. Unordinary and unreal are excellent descriptors. But I think, in that state of mind, I also feel a little insane. (Sane or insane probably doesn’t apply – but unreal or unordinary in a somewhat frightening, possibly wrong way …)

    1. I know… it’s such a good quote. It made me stop, reread and ponder before continuing with the interview. I don’t think anyone ever phrase that specific aspect so eloquently, I mean how can you? It’s such a difficult thing to understand or talk about. Thanks for commenting 😉

  3. actually there is no ‘ordinary’ part of the mind – every mind is unique and unordinary. that we appear to share a single reality is a collective hallucination

  4. I, too, go with the “unordinary, unreal.” As to the “insanity” and a “sickness” of our minds, not sure I really want to get into that one! There are BOOKS written on this stuff, and I don’t think your comment fields can handle it! ;-]

  5. I can relate to this as well. I find that those most debilitating moments, those one-voice-on-each-shoulder battles, often cultivate the most honest and transcendent works of creativity. It helps to personify the human experience.

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