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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

How to Carve a Wind-Up Bird: Murakami Haruki in English

30. Januar 2001 / 18.30

Jay Rubin (Professor, Harvard University)

Murakami Haruki’s 3-volume novel, Nejimakidori kuronikuru (1994-95; English translation, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1997) was at the center of a controversy concerning re-translation that attracted much attention in the German media this past summer. As the translator of the English version (or versions) upon which the German version was based, the speaker offers his views on translating and „adapting“ a major novelist’s major work. In this case, pinning down an „original“ text proves almost as elusive as the process of literary translation itself. The speaker hopes that members of the audience will be prepared to ask questions based on their reading of the original(s), the English translation(s), and/or the German version. Jay Rubin is Professor of Japanese Literature at Harvard University and Visiting Professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, from June 1, 2000 to March 31, 2001. He published scholarly work on prewar literary censorship and Noh drama, and his translations include Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The Elephant Vanishes, and Norwegian Wood.