Synopses & Reviews
"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.
“A magical mystery tour through Haruki Murakamis fictional world.” —Evening Standard, with a new chapter on Murakamis novel, Kafka on the Shore.
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 kindsjazz, classical, folk, rockand 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 is the author of Injurious to Public Morals: Writers and the Meiji State and Making Sense of Japanese, and he edited Modern Japanese Writers for the Scribner Writers Series.
Table of Contents
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
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