Saturday, July 29, 2017

Men without Women and Other Haruki Murakami Books in Turkish Translation

Having missed the publication of the Turkish version of Men without Women, which came out in January 2016 from Doğan Kitap in a translation by Ali Volkan Erdemir, I began to wonder about other Turkish translations. After some internet research, I discovered that a total of fourteen of Murakami's books have been translated by four different translators.  Taking these in reverse chronological order:

Murakami's latest Turkish translator is Ali Volkan Erdemir, who teaches Japanese literature at Erciyes University. He is also a translator of Oe and an author of books on Japan. He is pictured below along with the covers of the Murakami works he translated before Men without WomenSputnik Sweetheart (2016), After Dark (2017) and The Strange Library (2017).


Before Erdemir, for many years, Murakami's main Turkish translator was Hüseyin Can Erkin, professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Ankara University, previously mentioned in this blog. At left is a photograph from his departmental page.  In addition to Murakami, Erkin has also translated Mishima, Oe, Tanizaki, Kawabata, Abe Kōbō and other writers. Below are the covers of Erkin's translations of Murakami: Kafka on the Shore (2009), 1Q84 (2012), Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (2011),  What I Talk about When I Talk about Running (2013), Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki (2014), and Sleep (2015), with illustrations by Kat Menschik.


Four Murakami novels were published in Turkish prior to 2009:  Norwegian Wood (2004, Skim, tr. Nihal Önol),  The Wind Up Bird Chronicle (2005, Ekim, tr. by Nihal Önol), South of the Border, West of the Sun (2007, Temmuz, tr. Pinar Polat), and A Wild Sheep Chase (2008, Ekim, tr. Nihal Önol).  However, none of these was done directly from Japanese: Nihal Önol translated from the French  and Pinar Polat from the English (thanks to Ali Volkan Erdemir for this information!).  Indeed, the Turkish title of Norwegian Wood, İmkânsızın Şarkısımeans something like "Song of the impossible," which makes sense if the book was translated from French, where the title was La ballade de l'impossible (tr. by Rose-Marie Makino-Fayolle). 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Korean Translation of Killing Commendatore Is Already Out!

The Korean translation of Haruki Murakami's latest novel, Kishidanchōgoroshi, came out on July 12, not quite five months after its Japanese premiere. The translator is Hong Eun-Ju, and the publisher is Munhakdongne Publishing Group.

Five months is a very short time to translate, edit, and publish a 1050-page-long novel!  We probably won't see any European translations until next year.