Jay Rubin is an American born academic and translator, he has a Ph.D. in Japanese Literature and currently is a professor at Harvard University. Apart from translating some of the works of Haruki Murakami, he has also written a guide to Japanese, Making Sense of Japanese (original title Gone Fishin) and translated books by Soseki Natsume and Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.
Jay Rubin is also a self-confessed fan of Haruki Murakami and has written this book as a guide for other fans who would like to learn more about the man behind the books, but who are prevented from doing so by the barrier of the Japanese language. It appears that Jay Rubin has been inundated by a mountain of questions from readers over the years he has been known as a translator of the works of Murakami, combining that with comments on internet forums, has been the inspiration behind this project.
The Translator's Murakami
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
after the quake
1Q84 - first two volumes translated by Jay Rubin and the third by Philip Gabriel, will be released in North America and the United Kingdom on October 25, 2011
Where this book does really well is in breaking down the tales of Haruki Murakami, as Jay Rubin says, that being a translator also means being a critic, and he does a really fantastic job of interpreting the novels and short stories, so much so that he has made me want to reread at least a couple of Murakami’s books. But he kind of scrimps on the autobiographical detail, using just enough to flesh out the exploration of his subjects oeuvre, offering a skeletal history, most of which is either known, or is easily accessible – married whilst at University, opened jazz Bar (peter cat), escaped to America after early success etc. At first I was a bit disappointed with the meagre offerings on the personal side of one of my favourite authors, and yet it soon became irrelevant, I became fascinated as jay Rubin dissected the stories, offering up his diagnosis, his interpretation of a series of works that have mystified readers for a while now, and in doing so shone a light into the many levels of Haruki Murakami’s novels.
Appendix: A – Translating Murakami.
(1) Translation & globalization.
(2) Translators, Editors, and Publishers.
Appendix: B – A Murakami Bibliography.
Appendix: A, This deals with Murakami’s status as a world literary figure, and the task of translating him into other languages, and the re-translating from a different language other than the source - for example in 2000 the translation of South of the border, West of the sun into German was a retranslation from the English, which caused some controversy on the German literary scene.
Appendix: B, Is a Bibliography of Murakami’s books, short stories, Essays, Interviews, Travel Writing, Picture books, Reportage, Illustrated children's books, works translated by Murakami, films, and special issue magazines (Japanese), plus a small sampling of studies & commentaries on the man in English and Japanese. Blimey, I was amazed at how much was out there, which made this section an interesting read for those who want to find out more.