Haruki Murakami and the Music of Wordsby Jay Rubin
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.
“A magical mystery tour through Haruki Murakami’s fictional world.” —Evening Standard, with a new chapter on Murakami’s novel, Kafka on the Shore.
- Random House UK
- Publication date:
- 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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