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Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words
     

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words

5.0 1
by Jay Rubin
 

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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 6,000 records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. His career was off and

Overview

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 6,000 records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. His career was off and running with his first novel, but it was the unprecedented success of Norwegian Wood in 1987 that made him a national celebrity. He sought anonymity in Europe, then lived in America from 1991 to 1995.

Over the years he has grown in stature from exciting newcomer to amajor voice in world literature. Rejecting the self-destructive lifestyle expected of the writer, he stopped smoking and started running marathons, but his surreal sense of humour has spared him from taking himself too seriously.

More than an exceptional translator of Murakami's work, Professor 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.

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 having collaborated with Murakami for more than a decade in preparing his works for an English-speaking audience.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This combination of biography and critical analysis of Murakami's life and work to date carefully chronicles one of Japan's most popular contemporary authors. Sometimes he is dismissed as a "pop lit" writer in a category with Banana Yoshimoto, especially for the novels and stories that have pop song titles (Dance Dance Dance, Norwegian Wood, "Slow Boat to China"). But works such as Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle have been taken more seriously and have garnered Murakami several literary prizes and invitations to Princeton, Harvard, and Tufts. A workaholic, Murakami is also noted as a translator (into Japanese) of Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Irving, and others, as well as for his encyclopedic knowledge of Western music and his journalistic pursuits. Still in his early 50s, Murakami is taking his place in Japanese literature with Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Oe, and Junichiro Tanizaki. Rubin (Japanese literature, Harvard) has translated several of Murakami's works and gives an evenhanded, nicely balanced account of his life and art. Much has been written about this important author in Japanese, but this is the first full look at him in English. Recommended for all public libraries holding Murakami's works. Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

“A magical mystery tour through Haruki Murakami’s fictional world.”  —Evening Standard, with a new chapter on Murakami’s novel, Kafka on the Shore.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781860469862
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
07/01/2002
Pages:
326
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.25(d)

Meet 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.

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Haruki Murakami And The Music Of Words 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago