From Roland Kelts, a great look at the difficulties of translating Murakami.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if the translation of literature, where the strengths and even personality of the original are embedded in the language, is futile, however heroic. “When you read Haruki Murakami, you’re reading me, at least ninety-five per cent of the time,” Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s longtime translators, told me in Tokyo last month, explaining what he says to American readers, most of whom prefer to believe otherwise.
Working on my own, much more modest, project last year made me hair-pullingly aware of the hard choices and compromises involved in any translation. Even with a comparatively straightforward text, it felt sometimes like I was trying to cook a curry using only the ingredients for spaghetti bolognese.