“Murakami Diary” is a calendar app for iPhones and iPads. When installed, it asks to use the data from iCal, and displays your upcoming events in a stylish manner. Strong graphic design (similar to recent Murakami covers) alongside quotes and pictures of cats is used to invoke the themes of his work.
Haruki Murakami is a pretty successful author. No doubt his publishing houses across the world would be happy if he just sat at home, bashing out new manuscripts. Sadly for these corporations, Murkami insists on living an interesting life. He lectures, teaches, and runs marathons, and although he does display a fierce determination to writing, one has to assume that his international travel cuts down on time at the keyboard.
History has shown us that famous authors don’t just stop at writing books. The sort of inquiring mind who can produce best-selling literature usually has a lot to say, and authors such as Charles Dickens and HG Wells owed as much of their fame to their speaking tours as they did to their books. It makes sense that in today’s networked age, publishing houses attempt to use the commodification of phone applications in order to extend the reach of their authors, rather than packing them off on exhausting tours.
At first glance, a calendar seems a rather odd match for Murakami’s writing, but who doesn’t need to use a diary at some point? Even the most hermit-like of people has to make plans eventually. However, the combination of quotes and cat imagery does conjure up the right feel – Murakami’s characters often seem to drift along in a dreamlike state, letting events happen to them. At least the users of this app will get a reminder of upcoming events.
There is a problem with the cramped layout on the iPhone screen, with the month view being more about quotes from the author rather than your upcoming schedule, but on the whole this is an understandable choice. Surprisingly, it is a totally acceptable way to organise your day, even if it is best used as a front-end to your serious calendar app.