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. He loves music of all kindsâ€”jazz, classical, folk, rockâ€”and has more than six thousand records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. Jay Rubin, a self-confessed fan, has written a book for other fans who want to know more about this reclusive writer. He reveals the autobiographical elements in Murakami's fiction, and explains how he developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing Murakami's career, he uses interviews he conducted with the author between 1993 and 2001, and draws on insights and observations gathered from over ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.
Ryünosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is one of Japan’s foremost stylists - a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty and wild humour. ‘Rashömon’ and ‘In a Bamboo Grove’ inspired Kurosawa’s magnificent film and depict a past in which morality is turned upside down, while tales such as ‘The Nose’, ‘O-Gin’ and ‘Loyalty’ paint a rich and imaginative picture of a medieval Japan peopled by Shoguns and priests, vagrants and peasants. And in later works such as ‘Death Register’, ‘The Life of a Stupid Man’ and ‘Spinning Gears’, Akutagawa drew from his own life to devastating effect, revealing his intense melancholy and terror of madness in exquisitely moving impressionistic stories.
An unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared interest.They discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more.
A major anthology of great Japanese short stories introduced by Haruki MurakamiThis is a celebration of the Japanese short story from its modern origins in the nineteenth century to remarkable contemporary works. It includes the most well-known Japanese writers - Akutagawa, Murakami, Mishima, Kawabata - but also many surprising new pieces, from Yuko Tsushima's 'Flames' to Banana Yoshimoto's 'Bee Honey'. Ranging over myth, horror, love, nature, modern life, a diabolical painting, a cow with a human face and a woman who turns into sugar, The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories is filled with fear, charm, beauty and comedy.Edited by Jay Rubin with an introduction by Haruki Murakami