Haruki Murakami

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modularblues
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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby modularblues » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:01 am UTC

Recently started reading the English translation of 1Q84 and so far happy with the Kindle version. I wonder if I could read Japanese whether I'd get a different nuance...

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Deep_Thought
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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:22 pm UTC

the_bandersnatch wrote:Also, did anyone else find Midori really annoying?

Nope. Each to their own though. I enjoyed Norwegian Wood, but you're right that it is a book about tone and emotion more than events.
Spoiler:
Considering her personal situation and how Toru treats her, I thought Midori was pretty cool.

modularblues wrote:Recently started reading the English translation of 1Q84 and so far happy with the Kindle version. I wonder if I could read Japanese whether I'd get a different nuance...

I have 1Q84 in paperback sitting next to my bed, waiting to be read. It is large. Very large.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby IcedT » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:02 am UTC

I'm not someone who reads a lot of fiction, but over the past couple months I've really been getting into Murakami's work. So far I've read Kafka on the Shore and Sputnik Sweetheart, plus a number of short stories and a couple of essays. I had just gotten a couple chapters in to Norwegian Wood before receiving 1Q84 for Christmas- I'm now just over 100 pages into that one. It's really the first time I've been this compelled by a writer, his books speak so much to my own thoughts and experiences that I wonder how I'd managed to go so long without hearing of him.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby jillton » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

modularblues wrote:Recently started reading the English translation of 1Q84 and so far happy with the Kindle version. I wonder if I could read Japanese whether I'd get a different nuance...


Duuuude - this is how I feel about EVERY Murakami book I've read.

Not to be a total douche-bag hipster on y'all but I've been reading his stuff for quite a while. I love, love. love, Norweigian Wood - but that could be just because I want to live in the 60s...

My favourite short story of his has to be "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" - When it comes to films/books/music I love romantic stories so this one suckered me in with the title alone!

I don't like this talk of him "selling out" - I don't think he has, doesn't he live in America now? Because he hated the attention he got in Japan. I could be wrong about this. If it is the case, the change in surroundings may have had an influence on his writing? Just speculating.

As I said, I really like this guy's stuff - but I sometimes feel like there's some deeper meaning that I just don't "get", I can never tell if it's a) Me b) The way he's written it or c) The translation...
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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Kizyr » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

jillton wrote:As I said, I really like this guy's stuff - but I sometimes feel like there's some deeper meaning that I just don't "get", I can never tell if it's a) Me b) The way he's written it or c) The translation...

The excerpts of translations that I've checked (I've mostly read him in Japanese, by the way) should be textbook examples of how to translate modern Japanese prose. Usually the best translators in the business (like Jay Rubin) are the ones who translate his work -- Murakami, by the way, is one of the best translators in the other direction (if you ask me).

So... I'm sure maybe something is lost. But whenever I've checked the Japanese and English text side-by-side it's rather astonishing how good the translation is. Mind you this is a very subjective assessment, though, but I think people like Rubin are really, really good at carrying across some of the nuances and quirkiness of Murakami's writing style. KF
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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

jillton wrote:As I said, I really like this guy's stuff - but I sometimes feel like there's some deeper meaning that I just don't "get", I can never tell if it's a) Me b) The way he's written it or c) The translation...

I think this may be a common feeling with Murakami. I suspect it's option (b). I found the ending of Kafka on the Shore to be particularly incomprehensible. I hope I'm not alone in that.

I can't read Japanese but the English prose is just beautiful, so I'm not tempted to suspect (c), especially after what Kizyr has said. The only thing I've wondered about in the translation is that often the food the characters eat or the music they listen to or the novels they are reading all seem to be Western in origin (Moreso the latter than the former). Do Japanese people really consume that much "Western" stuff?

Have started 1Q84. So far it seems...very Murakami-ish...

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Kizyr » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:17 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:The only thing I've wondered about in the translation is that often the food the characters eat or the music they listen to or the novels they are reading all seem to be Western in origin (Moreso the latter than the former). Do Japanese people really consume that much "Western" stuff?

That's Murakami's style. European and American references crop up all the time (background elements and integral parts) in his work. There's a lot of familiarity with Western culture in Japan, yes, but Murakami is unique in the way that he'll weave it into his work -- so he's very unlike other authors in that regard, and it's something his Japanese audiences notice, too.

There's a pretty good article I came across the other day where Jay Rubin (translator for many of his novels/novellas) mentioned that:
http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/jay-rubin ... han-words/

One part:
Jay Rubin wrote:Murakami’s most frequent cultural references are Western, so translation almost never involves such changes. He certainly invents a lot of unusual similes, and he has his own pet symbols (wells, corridors), but these strike a Japanese reader as unusual and fresh as they do a Western reader. There is very little difference.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Katt » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:52 pm UTC

I read somewhere that Murakami wrote his first text originally in English, and then translated it into Japan. That is how he got his voice.
I really liked his first books, but I feel that now he is exploiting his own ideas too much. 1Q84 was a ripoff.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby modularblues » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:44 am UTC

I haven't read enough of Murakami's work to appreciate this bingo in it's entirety... but I thought it's pretty amusing.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby ahammel » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

modularblues wrote:I haven't read enough of Murakami's work to appreciate this bingo in it's entirety... but I thought it's pretty amusing.
Haha, that's great! The Wind-up Bird Chronicle alone gets at least three four bingos.
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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby Nylonathatep » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

I've actually read three of his works in Chinese..."Norwegian Wood", "A Wild Sheep Chase", and "South of the Border, West of the Sun".

"Norwegian Wood" is his breakout Novel into the Chinese Market, but I liked "South of the Border, West of the Sun" the most. Maybe because I've read that one first. Both novels have a bildungsroman elemental to it... one is about choosing between sex and love, and the other between childhood crush and marriage.

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Re: Haruki Murakami

Postby ahammel » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:00 am UTC

*necromancy*

Colorless seems pretty divisive, if Goodreads is any indication. I thought it was pretty great, myself. I liked the urban fairytale quality.
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