Murakami and Cheap Liquor

In this International Herald Tribune article, we’re reminded that the great Haruki Murakami is currently a leading contender for the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, which will be announced in the next few weeks. Murakami has also addressed the recent protests, some violent, related to the longstanding dispute between China and Japan over the ownership of the Senkaku Islands (some background can be found here and here). His money quote regarding nationalism:

“It is like cheap liquor: Cheap liquor gets you drunk after only a few shots and makes you hysterical. It makes you speak loudly and act rudely … But after your drunken rampage you are left with nothing but an awful headache the next morning. We must be careful about politicians and polemicists who lavish us with this cheap liquor and fan this kind of rampage.”

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