Well, let's get ye ol' weblog cranking again, shall we? Happy new everything, hope you missed me, come back soon, &c. On with the posting:
A while back a book by Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, leapt out at me from the shelf at a bookstore and compelled me to buy it. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about Murakami, but I loved the novel, and have been working my way steadily through his works that are available in english. Turns out I'm in good company, William Gibson is doing the same:
More recently, Gibson has been catching up on the enigmatic novelist Haruki Murakami. He first read him when they had the same Japanese publisher. As Murakami became more widely translated, Gibson bought every book he could get his hands on. "I'm sort of up to Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and Underground. I still have a way to go."
So, a Gibson and a marginalia.org recommendation, what more do you need?
A somewhat disturbing after-the-fact discovery about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle may actually have been cut in translation for length reasons:
Major works like Underground, published in two volumes in Japan, were drastically cut in translation, and Rubin mentions the extensive cuts he made in his translation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (while mentioning that he also handed in an entirely uncut translation, a version Knopf declined to publish). (Regarding The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Rubin writes that Knopf had: "stipulated in Murakami's contract that the books should not exceed a certain length" -- a clause so outrageous and ridiculous it's hard to believe any author would accept it.)
Even the cut novel is well worth reading, although I really hope the full work is released some day.