Art And Culture

Thursday Evening With Haruki Murakami

Thursday Evening  With Haruki Murakami Thursday Evening  With Haruki Murakami
Three well-known translators of the books of the internationally acclaimed Japanese writer will speak about him and his works

Persian translators of Haruki Murakami's books will hold a seminar today, December 29, in Tehran for readers and enthusiasts to know more about the writer and his works.

The seminar 'Thursday Evening With Haruki Murakami' is organized under the auspices of the Caravan-Mehr cultural bimonthly published from Tehran, and will be held at Gozar Art Gallery, ISNA reported.

The three translators who have worked on the books of the internationally acclaimed Japanese writer Murakami, 67, will speak about him and his works.

They are the well-known literary translator and journalist Asadollah Amraee, critic and prolific translator Behrang Rajabi, and writer and researcher in children's literature Gita Gorgani.

Amraee has translated 'Birthday Stories,' a 2002 anthology of short stories by writers from all over the world edited by Murakami. Despite the theme's happy connotations, most of the short stories have a dark, melancholic atmosphere.

Rajabi's translations of Murakami's works include 'After the Quake' and 'The Strange Library.' The former is a collection of six short stories by Murakami, written between 1999 and 2000 and is about the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan.

It highlights Japan's fragility of its daily existence; but the upheavals that afflict Murakami's characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where human meets the inhuman, says

'The Strange Library' is a fantastical illustrated novella about a lonely boy, a mysterious girl and a tormented sheep-man imprisoned in a nightmarish library, plotting their escape, a figment of Murakami's wild imagination and is like nothing else he has written.

  Anti-War and Sarin Attacks

Gorgani has translated 'Kafka on the Shore' and 'Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche.'

The former is a 2002 anti-war novel powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from the stress of wartime and now is drawn to Kafka for reasons that, like many activities of his daily life, he cannot fathom.

Underground is about the Tokyo subway sarin attack in March 1995, a domestic act of terrorism perpetrated by members of the cult movement Aum Shinriky that killed 12 people, injured thousands and left many to suffer serious after-effects. Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day.

He also interviews members and ex-members of the cult, in the hope that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it was that their guru instilled such loyalty in his followers.

The gallery is at No. 16, Feyzieh Street, Niavaran Avenue, and the meeting starts at 4pm.

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