Δευτέρα, 13 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Reading Haruki Murakami in parallel worlds

Πώς από το μυθιστόρημα του Μουρακάμι κόπηκαν 25.000 λέξεις για να "στρώσει" στην αγγλική μετάφραση:

“1Q84” for example, appeared in Japan between 2009-2010 in three separate volumes. The Knopf version appeared as a single volume, the first two sections of which were translated by Rubin (who hesitantly cut nearly 25,000 words, according to Emmerich) with the final chapter done by Gabriel.
Emmerich points out that the back page of Murakami works in English have a notice stating that the translation was made possible with the cooperation of the author--meaning that Murakami gave the go-ahead to substantial changes.
Birnbaum, to Emmerich’s ears, “is not a translator who suffers from the illusion that there can ever be a one-to-one correspondence between the Japanese and the English, so he uses all of his powers to create English sentences that will live on their own in a way similar to the way that Japanese sentences live.”
He pretty much created the no-space-between-words speech of the Sheepman in Murakami’s first trilogy of “Hear the Wind Sing,” “Pinball 1973” and “A Wild Sheep Chase.” Rubin, meanwhile, He offers a voice drier than Birnbaum’s, while that of Gabriel, the translator of the upcoming “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” is “wetter” and possibly falls in between his two predecessors.
There are differences found in Murakami translations in China as well. For more than 20 years the sole authorized translator was Lin Shaohua, who critics say added a Chinese classics-inflected tone to Murakami’s works. With “1Q84” the translating shifted to Shi Xiaowei, who lived in Tokyo for nearly 20 years and graduated from Murakami’s alma mater, Waseda University. The same critics says his tone is closer to Murakami's own.
Emmerich met Shi, a professor of Japanese at Sanda University in Shanghai, this past December on the Waseda campus, where excited Chinese exchange students surrounded Shi for photos and autographs.
“When I was an undergrad I never had seen a translator, or if I did I never knew I did. Over the past decade there’s been a surge in interest in them so they’ve become more visible, and that is having a very big impact on the business of translation,” says Emmerich. The birth of 'the world’s biggest book-reading club,' as he puts it, “has created a desire to read literature from all over the world that is easier to fill now, because there’s far more information available now than ever before.”
So how would Murakami do if he arrived on the scene today? “I think he’d do really well, since he’s an incredible storyteller, but I would frame him in terms of who’s translating him.
“If his first novel appeared right now, but if he didn’t end up at Knopf, with Chip Kidd’s covers, that would be a huge difference in the way he’d be perceived,” says Emmerich.
“If he were to start with '1Q84,' firstly he probably wouldn’t be published at all, because it’s too long. And if he were to start there instead of 'The Wind-up Bird Chronicle,' then the trajectory of his career would be totally different,” Emmerich adds.
Instead of being one of the world's most elusive literary phenomena, Murakami might simply never have been.
By LOUIS TEMPLADO/ AJW Staff Writer

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