Literary Hub has published Haruki Murakami‘s account of how he became a novelist, related in his recent introduction to WIND/PINBALL: Two Novels. The piece, entitled ‘The Birth of My Kitchen Table Fiction’, is translated by Ted Goossen. The moment that inspired Murakami’s decision occurred during “[o]ne bright April afternoon in 1978, [during] a baseball game at Jingu Stadium”:
“In the bottom of the first inning, Hilton slammed Sotokoba’s first pitch into left field for a clean double. The satisfying crack when the bat met the ball resounded throughout Jingu Stadium. Scattered applause rose around me. In that instant, for no reason and on no grounds whatsoever, the thought suddenly struck me: I think I can write a novel.
I can still recall the exact sensation. It felt as if something had come fluttering down from the sky, and I had caught it cleanly in my hands. I had no idea why it had chanced to fall into my grasp. I didn’t know then, and I don’t know now. Whatever the reason, it had taken place. It was like a revelation. Or maybe epiphany is the closest word. All I can say is that my life was drastically and permanently altered in that instant—when Dave Hilton belted that beautiful, ringing double at Jingu Stadium.”