Words (FREE) Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words PDF eBook by Jay Rubin (). Review ePub. ISBN: REVISED. Haruki Murakami And The Music Of Words wednesday, january 9, wednesday pairings 1st tee - official pro-am tournament wednesday, january 9, At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss Jay Rubin's book on Japa- nese writer Haruki Murakami as scholarship-lite. Right from the start,. Rubin admits to being.
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Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. View PDF. book | Non-Fiction | US & Canada → Random House. As a young man, Haruki Murakami played. One of Soseki's most beloved works of fiction, the novel depicts the year-old Sanshiro leaving the sleepy countryside for the first time in his life to experience. 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.
Or at least, whether there are any who do. Occasionally I think Rubin drifts into the speculative, especially with the more recent books, but in general he doesn't get too far off track in my view. I think the first book-length analysis of the fictions of Murakami, and an indispensable guide. So as far as giving the reader information, Rubin does an excellent job. Community Reviews.
For example, in this book, he explained about the many fascinating loose ends in Kafka on the Shore like the appearance of Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders. Many of my Goodreads friends question the relevance or roles of those characters in this Franz Kafka and Jerusalem Prizes awardee book.
Jay Rubin said that those characters are indispensable to the story. Read this book and be convinced. In other words, this book answered many questions I had while reading six of his books. As it also provides short summaries of those, I also got to review and appreciate those more. However, for those four books that I am still to read, knowing about their plots spoiled those somehow that I think I will put them in the back burner for awhile.
So here goes my advice: Also, I am confused about the direction of this book. It is partly biography, partly literary criticism. I thought that this could have been more meaningful and enjoyable if Rubin divided this into two giving more structure rather than fusing the two in his narratives.
It felt like having no direction. Moreover, the discussion of Murakami's works jumps from one book to another.
Or maybe it is just me.
Maybe Jay Rubin is doing a Murakami too. View all 13 comments. Nov 09, Andrew Smith rated it liked it Shelves: View all 7 comments. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Rubin is an academic, but here he writes for a general audience in an engaging, easygoing style, in much the same way as the subject of this book does which makes sense since Rubin is one of Murakami's translators. Rubin takes us from the start of Murakami's writing career through his short-story collection, after the quake.
As he ends this book, Rubin gives 'clues' as to what Murakami is working on, and the Murakami fan now knows that it's Kafka on the Shore.
F I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For those who feel Murakami writes about 'nothing,' Rubin has some revelatory passages on 'meaning', though he allows that Murakami is mostly about imagination and the rhythm of language thus the title, I suppose, and an allusion to the references to music in his work. Murakami says his style first developed because he wanted to write but had nothing to say.
I feel that may be true of his first novel, but is also somewhat disingenuous as his work seems to always at 'least' be about the individual trying to find his place in this world of chaos, a theme of many writers. I especially enjoyed hearing of Murakami's writing process. The man seems constitutionally unable to not write. And I learned much about his 'place' in Japan. As with many of his works, he is a paradox -- both of, but even more so extremely different from his country.
It's best to read this if you've already read most of the works elaborated on here. Also, be sure to read Rubin's appendix on translation and re-translation -- it's quite interesting. View all 6 comments. View 1 comment. That's this: From even the most ordinary, commonplace things, there's always something you can learn. Fact is, if it weren't for that, nobody'd survive.
View all 4 comments. Aug 27, Yasmeen rated it really liked it.
I always wonder whether every Murakami fan in the world leads such a conflicting life. Or at least, whether there are any who do. My relationship with Haruki's we've been through enough to be on a first name basis stuff is truly unlike anything I've ever experienced. Sometimes it's frustrating, sometimes it's wonderful. Only very recently having come to any sort of working conclusion about the way I feel about him, I was really curious to see what other people have to say about him.
And though I always wonder whether every Murakami fan in the world leads such a conflicting life. And though Jay Rubin is a lot more forgiving than I am, there's something about the way he discusses the novels that's strangely comforting.
Rubin is one of Murakami's three main translators, and I've always felt that he does a really good job not that I can compare it to the original Japanese, but from what I can judge it's quite good. He's such a huge fan, it's a little bit adorable. And I think he gives some really useful insight that I would have never been able to access otherwise, stuff about things that just can't be translated. For example, the Boku vs Watashi thing is really enlightening and might be a possible explanation as to why Murakami's female perspectives, the few of them that exist, tend to be awkward.
And though I knew Murakami is a little rebel against typical Japanese literature, I never really got just how much his novels are a break from tradition. To a certain degree, it puts him in persepective and makes me a little bit more objectively appreciative of his work.
There's also quite a lot of information about Murakami himself. Though this doesn't change the way I perceive his novels fiction stands alone!
I am genuinely amused at how little Murakami cares about understanding the things that he writes. And that is a whole other rant. But suffice it to say that Rubin is really thorough, and I appreciate that. So as far as giving the reader information, Rubin does an excellent job. He also, however, does a little bit of literary commentary of nearly every single thing to come out of Murakami's pen.
And that was fun, at times. One of the realities of liking Murakami is that you kind of just have to sigh, half amused, half exasperated at all the things that he mentions in basically every one of his novels.
Or find some other way of dealing with all his obsessions. I wish Rubin had spent a little more time discussing some of them, because it's a pretty big deal.
For example, he makes an offhand reference to what he refers to as "Murakami's many Lolita characters," but doesn't seem to give them any importance I was particularly annoyed at how dismissive he was of Yumi To be fair though, there's just a lot of things that I care about that Rubin doesn't address, and that's not his fault or anybody else's.
It's just a different reading of the text. But I still can't stop myself from wishing he had. Of course, written by someone who works very closely with Murakami, its definitely not the most objective of texts.
But hey. It's about Murakami. When is anything Murakami-related ever remotely objective? Jan 02, Mizuki rated it it was amazing Shelves: Fans of Haruki Murakami's novels should all read this book! Oct 12, Guido Eekhaut rated it really liked it. I think the first book-length analysis of the fictions of Murakami, and an indispensable guide.
Should be updated. Jul 08, John rated it liked it. This is a partial review of a partially read book. In my reading of Rubin's take on Murakami I have skipped sections pertaining to Murakami works that I have yet to read.
As such, I highly recommend 'HM and the Music of Words' to anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of Murakami's novels, along with anyone like me who tends to stalk every word by and about a favorite author. Ru This is a partial review of a partially read book. Rubin does a pretty good job at conveying the plots of Murakami's novels and numerous short stories, discusses what he sees as the important themes of each novel, and fleshes out the elements shared between novels and short stories.
He mentions how we English language readers have been gypped in the "abridgement" of some of his English language translations. He discusses Murakami's interests along with his experience as a translator. In all this Rubin brings the enthusiasm of a fan as well as a translator of Murakami's work. Since I'm not very well read in the literary criticism genre I don't know how this stacks up against other works of the type.
The only shortcoming for me was that there wasn't as thorough a treatment of the symbolism and themes in Murakami as I was looking for. Although I guess "it's cheating" to look over the shoulders of others and peek at their understanding of an author and a work, honestly it helps my understanding and enjoyment. That's actually one of the reasons I read a ton of Goodreads reviews here. For all his western influences, Murakami has some themes, symbols and perspectives that I feel like I am slow to catch on to.
Here's some of the stuff I was looking for answers to: What's up with wells? How about all those suicides Where are the character names in some of the earlier novels, and why are they missing M's just messing with us, right?
Is there anything meaningful in the observation that M seems to rewrite a story over and over again? Vonnegut - one of Murakami's influences - reuses characters like they were screwdrivers and wrenches. Also, from a "development of the writer" perspective, are there stages in Murakami's writing? For example, there seems to be a phase of "psychological realism" in his "juvinilia which he wrote around age Finally, since I peeked ahead, there's also another phase - or is it just a temporary breather from chasing Nobel Immortality - to which 'After Dark' and some later short stories might belong.
I confess I like to classify my reading Rubin touches on some of this stuff, but not as thoroughly and as long as I'd want. But maybe it's too soon to try and view Murakami in the big picture, or maybe I just haven't read the right critical works yet. Maybe Rubin just wants to keep his book accessible and under a thousand pages.
Personally I can't wait for the Norton Critical Editions of Murakami's works, especially the ones I've read, just so I can gorge on all the essays and see the obvious things I've missed 'obvious' to academics. I'm sure Rubin will be represented there.
They do still make those things, don't they? Sep 24, Vince rated it really liked it. Rubin gives quite a bit of biographical information about Murakami within the context of his writing, which allows the reader to see the connection between Murakami's growth and changes of writing style in relation to his maturation as a person.
A lot of this is spot on, as evidenced by interviews, quotes from M's lectures and written exchanges between M and his fans on his website quite extensive t one point apparently. Occasionally I think Rubin drifts into the speculative, especially with t Rubin gives quite a bit of biographical information about Murakami within the context of his writing, which allows the reader to see the connection between Murakami's growth and changes of writing style in relation to his maturation as a person.
Occasionally I think Rubin drifts into the speculative, especially with the more recent books, but in general he doesn't get too far off track in my view. I get the sense that over time Rubin has become somewhat more critical of his subject, but that just might be a small biased perception of my own; Rubin certainly isn't trashing Murakami in the later chapters. The edition I read is only current up through the publication of "Kafka On The Shore", so doesn't include anything concerning the most recent "1Q84".
It will be interesting to see what Rubin has had to say in the meantime and I'll have to give a perusal to a more recent edition sometime in the near future. I liked the interspersion of reviews with biography in "real time", as it added quite a bit to my appreciation for Murakami's development of self and his art.
For Murakami fans at least, this book shoud add quite a bit of depth. Jan 19, Trin rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting, if not electrifying, biography of Murakami by one of his English translators.
Dude, Haruki and I are like that. A gift like that is, I think, elusive and ineffable. Apr 28, Chris Morton rated it it was amazing. Absolutely brilliant book. Read it in a week, lapping up every word. I've read all of Murakami's stuff so was looking for something else. I'd say that if you're in a similar situation then I'd highly recommend this. But you probably need to read all of his stuff first because this is not a biography of the man, it's a biography of his work.
Quite unique. Mar 28, Greg Soden rated it really liked it. A great analysis for Murakami super fans!
Feb 11, Daz rated it really liked it. Some terrific insight into the processes of Murakami's writing, in particular, how he seeks to create meaning from the unknown - merging the inner and outer worlds from the position of his own metaphysical inquiry. There is also some great commentary on the importance of music in regards to his writing, along with his early fascination for American literature which propelled him in his early days A great overview of Murakami's life pre-1Q84 - by one of his English translators and fans Ray Rubin.
There is also some great commentary on the importance of music in regards to his writing, along with his early fascination for American literature which propelled him in his early days to run away as far as he could from Japanese literature albeit now we have learned that he would later come back to exploring his Japanese identity.
Some chapters are much more interesting and useful than others, in particular excerpts from his own writings and speeches. There is also motivation here for writers who want to understand how disciplined and hardworking Murakami has always been in regards to his success as a writer- it was never a matter of luck.
I don't believe the average fan will take much away from this, it's rather a book for those studying Murakami or curious about his life and interests.
Aug 01, Paul rated it liked it Shelves: There are plenty of great reviews for this book so I don't have anything to add there -- I just wanted to point out one part of Rubin's narrative that was, to me, the most hilarious thing I've read all year. Some have more to do with the author as postmodern celebrity than with the stern pursuit of literature.
One wonders, for example, [End Page ] if there is any critically useful purpose to the lengthy commentary that deals with Murakami's running of marathons or that shows us the man as a "Dear Abby" fount of quirky wisdom on his website.
Rubin also comments on translating Murakami, with special emphasis on globalization and how it affects the publishing industry. The book ends with a number of bibliographies of a variety of primary and secondary sources, both in Japanese and in English. The sources in the bibliography suggest that Rubin's own discussion of Murakami's writing is based upon, but hardly ever exceeds, critical observations already in print.
He follows his sources, for example, in discussing the significance of cats and subterranean spaces throughout Murakami's work, the performance of small household tasks like cooking and ironing, and the significance of American pop culture, especially of jazz.
Rubin recapitulates the critique of Murakami as a glib apolitical entertainer, frivolous and devoid of literary merit, launched by Nobel Prize winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe and critic Masao Miyoshi. Arguing against this view, Rubin presents Murakami's work specifically as a product of generational experience—something that Matthew Strecher has already done in an outstanding essay published in the Journal of Japanese Studies in Rubin also paints a portrait of Murakami as an author of middle-aged nostalgia, a theme previously developed by Stephen Snyder in "Two Murakamis and Marcel Proust.
Having listed everything that might lead readers to dismiss the book entirely, let me now explain why I not only consider it to be a timely and useful piece of scholarship, but why I also liked it immensely.
What might at first sound like cliquishness in the interactions between Murakami and his critic ultimately comes across as sheer excitement and enthusiasm. Thanks to its elegantly conversational style, the book does not appeal solely to a few select fans or fellow initiates.
Rather, Rubin sounds open and inclusive, like someone telling us, bright-eyed, all about his favorite writer while keeping his hagiographic urges within reasonable bounds.
Even better, here is someone who also happens to Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.