Tuesday, April 22, 2014

French and Finnish Covers

The French and Finnish covers of Tsukuru Tazaki translations were released on Curtis Brown website.  The Finnish translation is already available for preorder, but the French Amazon site only offers the English and German language editions so far.
Here is what the two covers will look like:

According to the entry on the page of the Finnish publisher, Tammi the Finnish version of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is the first translation of a Haruki Murakami's work from the original Japanese. The translator is Raisa Porrasmaa, a scholar, writer and translator living in Japan. As is clear from the cover, the Finnish title does not use the name "Tsukuru Tazaki," but it simply calls refers to a "colorless man." Another page on the publisher's site refers to the fact that a considerable part of the book takes part in Finland, Helsinki and Hämeenlinna, which will no doubt generate additional interest in Finland. 
Both language versions are to appear in September. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Interview with Dmitry Kovalenin, Russian translator of Murakami

Here is an interview with Dmitry Kovalenin, the Russian translator of Haruki Murakami's works. It was posted on April 18. Kovalenin talks about the new book, about his meetings with the writer and his views on Murakami's works. 

Переводчик Харуки Мураками Дмитрий Коваленин: Мураками - человек, победивший страх

Востоковед Дмитрий Коваленин рассказал "ВМ" японском писателе Харуки Мураками.

Новая книга японца Харуки Мураками «Мужчины без женщин» поступила в продажу в Японии. Продажи начались в полночь, в одном из крупнейших в Токио книжных магазинов «Кинокуния». В это время у его дверей можно было наблюдать традиционную картину: очередь из поклонников писателя, надеющихся быть в числе тех, кто купит его новую книгу первым.
О том, в чем причина такой популярности писателя, мы поговорили с его бессменным переводчиком, востоковедом Дмитрием Ковалениным.
- Дмитрий, вы знаете о том, что в Японии выпустили новую книгу Харуки Мураками – сборник новелл «Мужчины без женщин»?
- Да, и там уже давка невозможная в магазинах. Я помню, как еще в прошлом году, перед началом продаж его предыдущей книги, люди занимали очередь еще ночью. Так что это, похоже, становится традицией. В новой книге шесть новелл и каждая о мужчине, которой расстался с женщиной, но потом осознал, что он ее, оказывается, любил. Эта тема у него всегда очень бережно обыгрывается, поэтому можно ожидать каких-то интересных этюдов. А поскольку они объединены в одну книгу, то лично мне будет интересно посмотреть его комбинаторику. Мураками умеет прекрасно комбинировать вещи, выстраивая логику, как в музыкальном альбоме.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

The New Short Story Collection Released at Midnight

The new short story collection by Haruki Murakami titled "Onna no inai otokotachi" was released at midnight in some Tokyo bookstores. The title was perhaps inspired by Hemingway's 1927 short story collection Men Without Women. The image of the cover appeared on the Japanese Amazon site just a few minutes after midnight. The collection includes 6 stories, 5 of them published previously in literary magazines and the title story (for details and titles see the post of March 15). According to some internet sources the first print run will be 300 thousand copies.

Pictures of the first happy buyers can already be found on the internet:

The article reports that the release was preceded by an event called "Biburiobatoru" (Biblio Battle?) where people "talked about Haruki Murakami's work." However, given that the event had a winner and was called a "battle", it must have been some kind of a contest rather than a discussion. The winner was a 32-year-old company employee, Mr. Hayakawa who was given the right to buy the first copy of the new book. Having looked at it briefly he said: "The writing style has charm. Last year was a full-full length novel [referring to Tsukuru Tazaki] so I wasn't able to read it overnight, but tonight I want to read the new story before going to bed." 
Apparently there was a countdown before midnight and at 12am a group of fans set off fire crackers in front of the Shinjuku Kinokuniya. 

Here is a link to an article in Asahi Shinbun covering the event.

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.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Haruki Murakami an "International Bestseller"?

A grand announcement for the English translation of Tsukuru Tazaki appeared on the Random House page (see the announcement here). It calls Haruki Murakami an "international bestseller," which seems a little unusual to me (shouldn't it be "international bestselling author"?). The whole blurb appears to have been written in a hurry. The price is given as $25 (compared to $18.63 on Amazon).

On another note, Publishing Trends announced international bestseller lists for March 2014 from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Brazil. It looks like Tsukuru Tazaki made it to the top ten in Austria.