Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Philip Gabriel Speaks To Times of India on Translating Murakami and Tsukuru Tazaki

The Times of India recently published an interview with Philip Gabriel, who is translating Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki into English. The interviewer was Ipshita Mitra and the interview was originally published on March 6, 2014.

Here is an excerpt:

Philip Gabriel on translating Haruki Murakami
,TNN | Apr 8, 2014, 12.00 AM IST

Murakami, a writer 'found in translation'
Haruki Murakami is a translator himself and has translated American writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, J. D. Salinger, Raymond Carver and John Irving into Japanese. "Murakami understands and appreciates the challenges of working between English and Japanese. He is always generous with his time. When I have questions, I run these by Murakami via email and he responds quickly to any parts I have trouble with. Murakami and/or his staff read through the first draft of my translations and make suggestions and changes," says Philip. 

Murakami's works have been translated into more than 40 languages and have featured on the bestselling lists across the world, from South Korea to Australia, Italy, Germany and China. 

Would it be correct to assume Murakami as a writer 'found in translation'? 

"If it means he is best approached or understood in translation, I would have to disagree. If it means he has more readers who read him in translation than in the original Japanese, I am not sure if this is accurate, but wouldn't be surprised if it is, since he has been translated into so many foreign languages," argues Philip.

Longer excerpts can be found on the Times of India website, and the whole interview can be found on Ipshita Mitra's Wordpress site.

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