Author of a unique work that masterfully combines Japanese tradition and Western culture, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami was awarded this Wednesday in Spain with the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature.
“The jury has considered the uniqueness of its literature, its universal scope, its ability to reconcile Japanese tradition and the legacy of Western culture,” said the ruling released in Oviedo (north), headquarters of the Princess of Asturias Foundation. .
Cult author translated into more than forty languages, Murakami has “an ambitious and innovative narrative, which has been able to express some of the great themes and conflicts of our time”continued the ruling of the jury convened by the foundation, which bears the name of the heiress to the Spanish throne.
Born in Kyoto in 1949, the prolific 74-year-old writer has a prose inspired by authors such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens or Truman Capote, and in which, through eroticism and fantastic twists, he confronts his characters with the absurd. and the loneliness of the modern world.
The author’s work, which investigates the dark side of things and beings in a depressive Japan, a country with a high suicide rate, music is the unifying element a passion that comes to Murakami from when, at the beginning of his literary career, he ran a jazz club.
His first novel, “Listen to the song of the wind” from 1979, already won an award in his country for new writers, and gave rise to his well-known Rat Trilogy.
Other of his outstanding works are “The End of the World and a Ruthless Wonderland” (1985), “Tokio Blues” (1987) and “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” (2006).
Murakami has also written nonfiction books and has taught at Princeton and Taft Universities in the United States.
– Awards Series –
The Letters Award is the fifth of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards, the most prestigious in the Ibero-American world, which annually, and at a rate of one per week, distinguish relevant people or institutions in fields ranging from scientific research and international cooperation, even sports.
For the prize awarded this Wednesday, 37 candidates from 17 nationalities competed in this forty-third edition of the awards.
Last year the winner was Juan Mayorga, considered the most international Spanish playwright and a renovator of contemporary theater.
Among the winners of previous years are the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, the Colombian Álvaro Mutis, the Mexicans Carlos Fuentes and Juan Rulfo and the Cuban Leonardo Padura.
In previous weeks, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, awarded to the American actress Meryl Streep, and the Award for Communication and Humanities, awarded to the Italian philosopher Nuccio Ordine, were announced.
Likewise, the Social Sciences prize, which went to the French historian Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, and the Sports prize, which went to the Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge, were awarded.
The prizes, established in 1981, are endowed with 50,000 euros (about 54,000 dollars) and a sculpture designed by the late Catalan artist Joan Miró.
The awards are presented by the heiress to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor, and King Felipe VI and King Letizia in October at a solemn ceremony in Oviedo, the capital of the Asturias region.