Thursday, May 21, 2015

Two earliest Murakami novels out in German yesterday! In English in August!

Murakami's first two novels (novellas?) Kaze no uta o kike (1979) and 1973 nen no pinbōru (1980) came out in German yesterday in Ursula Gräfe's translation. The publisher is Dumont Buchverlag. Here is a picture of the cover, reminiscent of the other recent German Murakami covers.

Also, an announcement appeared on the Random House page about the August 4, 2015 publication of the new English translations of the same books by Ted Goossen. As mentioned earlier in this blog (the post from 14 September 2014), both appeared in Japan in the 80's in Alfred Birnbaum's translation, published by Kodansha.  As you can see on the cover, the titles seem to have been shortened to just Wind and Pinball.  Or perhaps this is just on the cover?

The same two novellas have already appeared in Chinese, Dutch, Korean, Polish, and Russian.  If I am missing a translation, please let me know. It strikes me that there is a funny cyclical quality about the recent, almost simultaneous, posts referring to Haruki Murakami's very latest -- and very oldest -- works, 35 years apart.

"The debut short novels--nearly thirty years out of print-- by the internationally acclaimed writer, newly retranslated and in one English-language volume for the first time, with a new introduction by the author.

These first major works of fiction by Haruki Murakami center on two young men--an unnamed narrator and his friend and former roommate, the Rat. Powerful, at times surreal, stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism, these novellas bear all the hallmarks of Murakami's later books, giving us a fascinating insight into a great writer's beginnings, and are remarkable works of fiction in their own right. Here too is an exclusive essay by Murakami in which he explores and explains his decision to become a writer. Prequels to the much-beloved classics A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance, these early works are essential reading for Murakami completists and contemporary fiction lovers alike."

And here are the covers of Goossen's translation for the UK edition, featured on the page:


The publication date is also August 4, 2015.

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