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Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words

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Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"If literature is dead, someone forgot to invite Haruki Murakami to the funeral." — Jay Rubin

As a young man, Haruki Murakami played records and mixed drinks at his Tokyo jazz club, Peter Cat, where he wrote at the kitchen table until the sun came up. He loves music of all kinds and when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. Besides being the distinguished translator of Murakami's work, Professor Jay Rubin is a self-confessed fan. He has written a book for other fans who want to know more about this reclusive writer. He reveals the autobiographical elements in Murakami's fiction; explains how he developed a distinctive new style in Japanese; and how, on his return to Japan from America, he came to regard the Kobe earthquake (in which his parents' house was destroyed) and the Tokyo subway gas attack as twin manifestations of a violence lying just beneath the surface of Japanese life.

Since 1993 Rubin has been studying Murakami's writing, interviewing him, and collaborating with him in preparing his works for an English-speaking audience.

Review:

"Part exuberant celebrator, part human Murakami encyclopedia, Rubin, a Harvard professor of Japanese Literature and a Murakami translator, puts about the author's life and writing under a microscope in this homage to all things Murakami. The internationally bestselling Murakami began publishing at age 30, while he and his wife ran Peter Cat, a Tokyo jazz club, and, as the title of this volume suggests, Murakami's writing is filled with musical references. Rubin starts by introducing the reader to 'The 1963/1982 Girl from Ipanema,' 'one of Murakami's most musical stories.' Rubin delves into Murakami's obsessions, from animals (particularly cats) to detachment, sex and hunger, by breaking down many of Murakami's stories and all of his novels. Rubin's plot summaries can go on too long before he gets to his critique, but his analyses are colorful and heartfelt, opening new ways of understanding the coolly surreal Murakami. Only in a few instances does Rubin point out a misstep, such as in Sputnik Sweetheart. Quips Rubin: 'In one of the worst lines of the book, the narrator actually thinks to himself: 'Sumire went over to the other side. That would explain a lot.' Indeed it would, just as the existence of gremlins would explain how my glasses moved from my desk to the dining-room table.' While Rubin states this book is for other Murakami fans, casual Murakami readers and those baffled by the writer's works could gain something from this volume." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] friendly guide to the extraordinary Japanese novelist's life and works....Murakami fans cannot fail to find some nuggets of interest herein." Steven Poole, The Guardian (UK)

Review:

"Rubin's chronology of a distinguished career is exciting and coherent, but he is at his best threading together the rich images in Murakami's prose." James Urquhart, The Independent (UK)

Synopsis:

Jay Rubin explains how Murakami developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing the reclusive writer's career, he draws on his own interviews with him, and observations gathered from ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.

Synopsis:

GB

Synopsis:

As a young man, Haruki Murakami played records and mixed drinks at his Tokyo Jazz club, Peter Cat, then wrote at the kitchen table until the sun came up. He loves music of all kinds—jazz, classical, folk, rock—and has more than six thousand records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. Jay Rubin, a self-confessed fan, has written a book for other fans who want to know more about this reclusive writer. He reveals the autobiographical elements in Murakami's fiction, and explains how he developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing Murakami's career, he uses interviews he conducted with the author between 1993 and 2001, and draws on insights and observations gathered from over ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.

About the Author

Jay Rubin is a professor of Japanese literature at Harvard University. He has translated Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and The Elephant Vanishes.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Readme
Pronunciation and Name Order
1 Prelude 1
"The 1963/1982 Girl from Ipanema" 8
2 The Birth of Boku 13
Chopped Onions and Fragmented Fiction 29
Hear the Wind Sing: Chapter 1 41
3 Half-Remembered Tune 48
Pinball, 1973 49
"A Poor-Aunt Story" 56
A Slow Boat to China 64
A Perfect Day for Kangaroos 66
4 Keeping the Ears Clean 74
A Wild Sheep Chase 78
5 Etudes 103
Firefly, Barn Burning and Other Stories 104
Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round 108
6 Song of My Self 114
Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World 114
7 Wagner Overtures and Modern Kitchens 131
"The Second Bakery Attack" 131
"The Elephant Vanishes" 136
8 Pop Melody 144
The House of the Rising Sun 144
Norwegian Wood 147
9 Dancing to a Different Tune 167
Dance Dance Dance 167
"TV People" and "Sleep" 171
"Tony Takitani" 180
10 On the Road Again 184
South of the Border, West of the Sun 194
11 Overture to The Thieving Magpie 201
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle 204
12 The Rhythm of the Earth 237
Underground 237
The Lexington Ghost 248
Sputnik Sweetheart 250
after the quake 255
13 When I'm Sixty-Four 265
App. A Translating Murakami 273
App. B A Murakami Bibliography 290
Notes 304
Index 322

Product Details

ISBN:
9780099455448
Author:
Rubin, Jay
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Asian - Japanese
Subject:
Authors, japanese
Subject:
LIT008030
Subject:
Murakami, Haruki
Subject:
Authors, Japanese -- 20th century.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
biography;non-fiction;literary criticism;japan;murakami;literature;haruki murakami;criticism;fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
7.80x5.04x1.03 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780099455448 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Part exuberant celebrator, part human Murakami encyclopedia, Rubin, a Harvard professor of Japanese Literature and a Murakami translator, puts about the author's life and writing under a microscope in this homage to all things Murakami. The internationally bestselling Murakami began publishing at age 30, while he and his wife ran Peter Cat, a Tokyo jazz club, and, as the title of this volume suggests, Murakami's writing is filled with musical references. Rubin starts by introducing the reader to 'The 1963/1982 Girl from Ipanema,' 'one of Murakami's most musical stories.' Rubin delves into Murakami's obsessions, from animals (particularly cats) to detachment, sex and hunger, by breaking down many of Murakami's stories and all of his novels. Rubin's plot summaries can go on too long before he gets to his critique, but his analyses are colorful and heartfelt, opening new ways of understanding the coolly surreal Murakami. Only in a few instances does Rubin point out a misstep, such as in Sputnik Sweetheart. Quips Rubin: 'In one of the worst lines of the book, the narrator actually thinks to himself: 'Sumire went over to the other side. That would explain a lot.' Indeed it would, just as the existence of gremlins would explain how my glasses moved from my desk to the dining-room table.' While Rubin states this book is for other Murakami fans, casual Murakami readers and those baffled by the writer's works could gain something from this volume." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] friendly guide to the extraordinary Japanese novelist's life and works....Murakami fans cannot fail to find some nuggets of interest herein."
"Review" by , "Rubin's chronology of a distinguished career is exciting and coherent, but he is at his best threading together the rich images in Murakami's prose."
"Synopsis" by , Jay Rubin explains how Murakami developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing the reclusive writer's career, he draws on his own interviews with him, and observations gathered from ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.
"Synopsis" by , GB
"Synopsis" by ,
As a young man, Haruki Murakami played records and mixed drinks at his Tokyo Jazz club, Peter Cat, then wrote at the kitchen table until the sun came up. He loves music of all kinds—jazz, classical, folk, rock—and has more than six thousand records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. Jay Rubin, a self-confessed fan, has written a book for other fans who want to know more about this reclusive writer. He reveals the autobiographical elements in Murakami's fiction, and explains how he developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing Murakami's career, he uses interviews he conducted with the author between 1993 and 2001, and draws on insights and observations gathered from over ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.
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