Graphic read­ing sees mem­ber of au­di­ence col­lapse at fes­ti­val event

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By JOHN HAWKINS

A READ­ING at Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val on Sun­day night was so graphic and nau­se­at­ing that a woman mem­ber of the au­di­ence col­lapsed and a medic had to be called to treat her.

The talk was billed as ‘A Cel­e­bra­tion of Haruki Mu­rakami’, the Ja­panese novelist, but could more ac­cu­rately have been de­scribed as “Au­di­ence tor­ture by Haruki Mu­rakami.”

It was when his ac­count of a pris­oner be­ing flayed alive was read out that the woman fainted.

The au­thors on stage con­tin­ued talk­ing as mem­bers of the au­di­ence went to help the col­lapsed woman and a first-aider was called to give her treat­ment as she sat on the floor of the au­di­to­rium.

A panel in­clud­ing peo­ple who knew Ja­panese au­thor Mu­rakami, his trans­la­tor and fans of his work, were talk­ing about his new book Killing Com­menda­tore.

Each mem­ber of the panel chose their own favourite piece of Mu­rakami’s writ­ing to be read aloud.

Chair, Ge­orgina God­win warned the au­di­ence that one of the panel, au­thor Evie Wyld had cho­sen a very very graphic ex­cerpt from Mu­rakami’s novel The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

Ac­tor Ju­lian Rhind-tutt read the ex­cerpt, which de­scribed in mo­ment-by-mo­ment de­tail how a Mon­go­lian sol­dier tor­tured a cap­tured Ja­panese agent.

Evie Wyld said she had been a fan of Mu­rakami since read­ing the Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

“I’m a big fan of how he writes about war. His writ­ing is sim­ple, straight­for­ward and un­blink­ing,” she said.

“The first book of his I read was the Wind-up Bird Chron­i­cles about 20 years ago. I still re­mem­ber where I was when I read it and the taste it left in my mouth for days af­ter­wards. It re­ally dis­turbed me and i re­ally liked that about the book.”

Asked why she had cho­sen some­thing so very graphic and dis­turb­ing as her favourite Mu­rakami piece to be read aloud Evie Wyld said “Yeah, sorry about this...” as the au­di­ence laughed ner­vously.

“It’s where my head goes to im­me­di­ately when I think of Mu­rakami be­cause I re­mem­ber that mo­ment of read­ing the scene and it’s about the un­blink­ing gaze on some­thing,” she said.

“It helped me enor­mously with what I was writ­ing about which was my un­cle in Viet­nam... how to write about war and how to write about some­thing you feel a close­ness to but weren’t in­volved in.

“It is beau­ti­fully writ­ten. It is one of the most graphic, aw­ful things and I al­most feel that it needs a trig­ger warn­ing.”

It is beau­ti­fully writ­ten. It is one of the most graphic, aw­ful things.

Evie Wyld

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.