Tuesday, March 18, 2014

French Translation of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki to Appear in September

The French translation of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is to appear on September 4th from Belfond. It was announced a month ago (see the article here), but somehow I missed it. The French title will be  L'incolore Tsukuru Tazaki et ses années de pèlerinage. It seems that the cover design has not been released yet. 
Here is another article on the topic:

Honorary Degree For Haruki Murakami

Tufts Now, the Tufts University gazette, has just announced that Haruki Murakami will be awarded an honorary degreee.

Haruki Murakami, novelist.  Acclaimed not only in his native Japan but also internationally for fiction that is humorous and surreal, Murakami has earned numerous literary prizes and been praised as being "among the world's greatest living novelists" by The Guardian. Murakami will receive an honorary doctorate of letters.  - See more at: http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/anne-marie-slaughter-deliver-tufts-commencement-address-may-18#sthash.uAB9YZZY.dpuf

To see the whole article go to: 

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Interview with Norihiro Kato about Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Norihiro Kato, professor of literature at Waseda University and a well-known critic who has written a great deal about Haruki Murakami (including the famous two-volume study, Murakami Haruki Yellow Pages), was interviewed by Hiroshi Matsubara from AJW (Asahi Shinbun Asia & Japan Watch) about Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. 
Kato talks about the issues of commitment and detachment, which are often discussed in the context of Murakami as a writer. He also describes how his impressions of the book evolved as he read it three times!  He calls the novel "an imperfect novel that needed to be written as such to allow the author to reach a new paradigm."

INTERVIEW/ Norihiro Kato: 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' is an imperfect work but one of Haruki Murakami's most important

photo by H. Matsubara

Editor's note: This interview is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW's series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami.
* * *
When he first conducted his cover-to-cover structural analysis of Haruki Murakami’s latest full-length novel, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage,” Norihiro Kato realized he would not rank this work with the author's best.
But as he read the novel a second, and then a third time, the Waseda University professor recognized its importance as a possible turning point in the acclaimed writer's literary career.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It was announced today that Haruki Murakami will publish a new short story collection almost exactly a year after Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki hit the bookstores. The collection, titled Onna no inai otokotachi ("Men Without Women"? "Womenless Men"?  The site ajw.asahi.com gives the title as the somewhat awkward "Men Who Do Not Have Girlfriends"), consists of five or six (depending on the source) stories, all but one of which have previously been published.

Here is the list of six stories, based on information provided in the sankei.jp article:

(For readers who don't read Japanese, the stories are: 1) the previously unpublished title story, 2) "Drive My Car," 3)"Yesterday," 4) "Independent Organ" [?], 5) "Kino," all of which have appeared in Bungei Shunju and 6) "Scheherezade," which appeared in Monkey.

Here is a link to the ajw.asahi.com article article in English (which mentions only five stories). 

The book can already be ordered on amazon.co.jp and is already listed as a "Number 1 bestseller"!

女のいない男たち 村上 春樹 (2014/4/18)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ursula Gräfe Interviewed and the German Translation of Tsukuru Tazaki Nominated for a Prize

I have come across an interview with Ursula Gräfe, the German translator of Tsukuru Tazaki. It seems that the book has been nominated for the Lepizig Book Fair Prize. Congratulations to Ursula! The winner is to be announced tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

In the interview Ursula talks about how she became a translator and a little about her approach to translating from Japanese.

Here is a fragment: (readers who don't speak German can use our handy Translate app on the right)

Ursula Gräfe wurde 1956 geboren und hat Japanologie, Anglistik und Amerikanistik studiert. Seit 1988 arbeitet sie als literarische Übersetzerin und wurde vor allen Dingen durch ihre Übersetzungen der Romane von Haruki Murakami bekannt. Zuletzt übersetzte sie seinen neuesten Roman “Die Pilgerjahre des farblosen Herrn Tazaki” – mit ihrer Übersetzung wurde sie für den Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse nominiert, der am 13.03. vergeben wird.
Sie sind bekannt geworden als Übersetzerin von Haruki Murakami – was verbindet Sie mit Japan und warum haben Sie sich entschieden Japanologie zu studieren? 
Meine Entscheidung, Japanologie zu studieren, entsprang eher der Neugier als einem besonderen Interesse oder einem festen Plan. Damals hatte ich nicht die geringste Ahnung von Japan, ganz zu schweigen von japanischer Literatur. Vor allem wollte ich gern eine asiatische Philologie studieren, um mein Bild von der Weltliteratur zu erweitern. Später, als ich Japaner kennen lernte und begann, japanische Literatur zu lesen, eröffnete sich mir eine unbekannte neue Welt, und ich fing richtig Feuer. Die ersten Werke, die wir im Original lasen, sind mir unvergesslich. Es waren Shunkinsho – Die Biografie einer Frühlingsharfe von Jun’ichiro Tanzaki – da könnte man auch mal an eine Neuübersetzung denken – und Kappa von Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Beides war unbeschreiblich schwer. Wir haben so unendlich lange für jeden Satz gebraucht, dass das Seminar über die ganzen Sommerferien ausgedehnt werden musste.

To read the whole interview go to: http://buzzaldrins.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/ursula-grafe-im-gesprach/

Also, at this addresses you can find reviews of the book: