Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Tsukuru Tazaki" Is One of the Top Three "Notable Foreign Works" in China Last Year

An article in China Daily announced that Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki was one of the top three "notable foreign works" published in China in 2013. The other two were Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel and Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg, a book dealing with gender equality. 
The article also states that Haruki Murakami is the second highest-grossing foreign author in China, following J.K. Rowling and preceding Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. By calculating the numbers given in the article, one realizes that 7% of books published in China are translations (compared to 3% in the US, 2.5% in the UK, 12% in Germany, 15% in France, 24% in Spain and 46%[!] in Poland, according to publishingperspectives.com).


To read the article go to:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More on the Dutch Translation Release

James Westerhoven, the Dutch translator of Tsukuru Tazaki kindly sent me this information about the Dutch release:

"The publicity manager of Atlas Contact officially confirmed that the first Dutch printing of Tsukuru Tazaki was 20,000 copies and the second 10,000 (one week before the book appeared). Apparently they are already preparing a third printing, although he didn’t mention the number of copies. That doesn’t necessarily mean the first two print runs have sold out already, but that they want to keep the book available in case the book stores order more.

And here is a link to a Dutch newspaper. It shows 47 photographs taken at the Amsterdam Comedy Theatre, one of the sites of the Murakami Festival. Over the photo, to the right, you see two active links “vorige” (previous) and “volgende” (following/next). The whole series gives a good idea of what the evening was like. The Festival was held at 15 different sites, but later in the evening everyone (some 500 guests) got together at the Theatre until 4 AM.


Here are two pictures from the series. The rest can be seen on the page linked above.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Audio Clip of Tsukuru Tazaki in German on YouTube

DuMont, the German publisher of Tsukuru Tazaki has posted 
an audio clip from the German version of Colorless Tsukuru 
Tazaki read by an actor, Vanja Mues. Here you can listen to
a short interview with Vanya Mues about the recording.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit writes about Murakami Translations

An interesting article about translations of Murakami by Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, an eminent German scholar of Japanese literature, appeared today. The article coincides with the release of the German translation of Tsukuru Tazaki by Ursula Gräfe. Hijiya-Kirschnereit has written before about the hegemony of English translations and problems of indirect translation. In this article she comments on Tsukuru Tazaki being the second Murakami work (after 1Q84), which appears in many languages before the English translation. She wonders: "How will adaptations for local readerships in all the different translations of his books be approached when the English versions no longer serve as the master copies? Or has Murakami perhaps adapted his style of writing for a global market in a way that makes these adaptations no longer necessary?"
Piles of the German Tsukuru Tazaki (photo from http://www.haruki-murakami.com)

Here is a passage from the article:

Orchestrating Translations: The Case of Murakami Haruki
Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit
On January 12, 2014, Japan’s “global author,” as he has been termed, celebrates his sixty-fifth birthday. Two days earlier was chosen for the publication of Murakami Haruki’s most recent novel in German: Die Pilgerjahre des farblosen Herrn Tazaki, which has been eagerly awaited by readers and the press since October 2013, when the publication date was announced. The rest of the story is predictable: Bookstores will position their piles of copies most prominently and visibly near the entrances on the second weekend of the year, and prompt newspaper reviews and radio programs will add to the excitement of seeing another of Murakami’s works ready to be devoured within a brief time span, in spite of its length in German of 318 pages. Needless to say, an e-book version will be available simultaneously.More and more, bringing out Murakami in translation is growing into an event. These releases may not be as high-profile as, say, those for J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, with people queuing for hours in front of large bookstores. But the fact that Murakami’s recent novels have been accompanied by well-orchestrated campaigns speaks for the particular name value of this author. Or should we describe things the other way around? Was it the smartness of launching a German fan website for 1Q84, his novel in three parts, well before the first two parts appeared in German translation in the fall of 2010, which boosted Murakami fever among his readership in a younger, more outgoing generation?

To read the whole article go to:http://www.nippon.com/en/column/g00144/

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sold Out "Murakami Festival" to Mark the Release of Tsukuru Tazaki in Holland on January 12

The  official release of Tsukuru Tazaki in Holland will begin on January 11 with a "Murakami Festival" organized in collaboration with the literary magazine Das Magazine, which announced the event with a very cool poster and a YouTube clip. The book will officially go on sale the following day, since January 12th will be Murakami's 65th birthday. The publisher is Atlas Contact and the translator is James Westerhoven.

According to the publisher's page, the event will consist of 15 reading club discussions about the new book, with 150 spectators.  500 participants received a book one month before its official release. Discussions will take place in different venues and later all the participants will meet during a great celebration at the Comedy Theater in Amsterdam.  Tickets for the event, which went on sale on November 11,  have been sold out!