Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Translate Murakami Therefore I Am, Says His Portuguese Translator

I recently came across an interesting article by Murakami's Portuguese translator, Maria João Lourenço, a very personal piece describing how she began to translate Murakami and the influence his writing has had on her life. Near the end of the article, she writes, "Traduzo Murakami logo existo," which means "I translate Murakami, therefore I am." This is a true translator's credo, I would say!  She has this to say about Murakami's writing: 
"O escritor japonês toca uma corda sensível no coração dos seus leitores e obriga as meninges a laborar em pleno."  Loosely translated: "The Japanese writer tugs on the sensitive heartstrings of his readers and forces their brains to work intensively."

You can read the whole article here.

Her translation of Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 (she translates through English) appeared recently from Casa das Letras, Murakami's Portuguese publisher.  The titles are Quve a cancāo do vento and Flíper, 1973, which means that Portuguese (next to Polish and Dutch) also uses the word "fliper" for "pinball." Note also the clever design of the book, with two front covers!   

Also, since I missed the publication of the Spanish and Catalan translations of the same two books, I hasten to make up for it now. The covers are pictured below. The Spanish version came out in October 2015 from Tusquets Editores, translated by Lourdes Porta Fuentes. The Catalan came out in 2015 from Empuries, translated by Albert Nolla Cabellos.