Last week Haruki Murakami lost out to Bob Dylan (?!) in the run-up to the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Murakami’s reaction on FB came in the form of a quote from his seminal book Norwegian Wood.
‘Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.’
And I’m thinking, Hell yeah! Self-pity is indeed for assholes, because those who pity themselves are also the first ones to dump on others when things don’t go as planned, not to mention their total OTPness when things go their way, making everyone else feel like shit in the wake of their triumphs. They’re the first ones to dump on others, period.
I thought Murakami deserved to win. Others did not. They favored other contenders, including Bob Dylan. Dylan is first and foremost a musician, but he is a powerhouse of pop culture, and his canon is mighty influential in cultural terms. There’s no right or wrong answer.
What is certain is that literature powers on, and so do the writers whom the Nobel Prize committee highlights. There will be more prizes, and more years in which to write more books, and more readers down the line, and more opportunities to enjoy writing for the sake of voicing personal truths. For the sake of the craft. In the name of storytelling and sharing ideas with other people, and not for a literary prize, no matter how prestigious or coveted.
Yep, ‘don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.’
From the bays of Pearl Coast,
Fish a ton of oysters, strike a shiny pearl.