The Prizes, Process, and Production of World Literature
Murakami rose through Japan’s literary prize system and small journals, winning the Gunzo Prize for Hear the Wind Sing. He then trained himself to be a translator and apprenticed by translating Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In his inter-textual word play, analyzed by Rebecca Suter, he forged a new style attractive to Japanese consumers in the Japanese Boom of the 1980s. Norwegian Wood, however, shows this style to be based on unresolved tensions from the 1960s student movement. He puts “gatekeeping” at the thematic center of his early work, but later (in 1Q84) attacks the industrialization of literature in Japan. His own assembly line approach to writing and translation, revealed by German scholars, highlights the “process and production” mode of current World Literature.
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