I have such good memories of the Fourth of July 2021. It was a perfect day in Chicago. Clear and warm but not hot, and when the sun went down there was a crisp breeze off the lake. For dinner, I walked over to The Bar on Buena, a local restaurant with a mix of American food and Mexican food, a solid selection of local taps, and a surprisingly deep bourbon list for a neighborhood spot. I ordered a BLT and a Surly Helles, a seriously bitter Pilsner. Beer memories are always illusive, but for whatever reason I remember Surly Helles so clearly.
After the sun went down, I biked over to Montrose Harbor and then north along the lake, watching families grill and set off fireworks. I stopped around Foster, lay my bike in the grass, and sat down to watch the end of the big fireworks display someone was firing off.
Then I called it a day and biked home.
I didn’t really push it. I remember wanting to wake up refreshed the next day so I could start working on the new materials for the Japanese program I was starting. It was the start of the last school year I’ll ever have, and I had that same giddy excitement that I’ve had almost every year. So much potential. So much new. So much to learn.
This giddy energy is a helpful way to start projects like a new course of study, but they generally take more to sustain. Somehow I managed to keep this particular project going for nearly two years. I wrote about this in my newsletter this month, and talked about it on the podcast, which I’ll be trying to keep up monthly as an audio accompaniment (not a direct transcript of) that newsletter.
Give it a listen, like, and subscribe!
This week on the podcast I’m taking a close look at Murakami’s complete bibliography for the first eight years of his career. See my Google Sheet version of all this information and follow along with the podcast at this link: bit.ly/MurakamiBibliography
And here are links that I mention separated out by year:
- I translated カンガルー日和 as “A Lovely Day for Kangaroos,” but I’d forgotten that the story has actually been translated in the anthology Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman as “A Perfect Day for Kangaroos.”
- Anzai Mizumaru – one of Murakami’s regular collaborators and illustrators/cover artists
This week, I take a look at Murakami’s famous origin story with the help of writer and translator Matt Schley. We looked at ten different accounts of the day that Murakami was inspired to become a writer:
Thanks again to Matt. Check out his translation of Soda Kazuhiro’s Why I Make Documentaries: On Observational Filmmaking available via Viaindustriae Publishing.
Well, I’ve had a week to mull over the title announcement for the new Murakami novel, and I’m still just as stunned as I was last week. Here’s the intro episode for this season of the podcast. Stay tuned for more!
And here’s the blog post I mention in the episode that includes the passage from Murakami’s supplementary commentary included with the Complete Works.
We have the title for the new Murakami novel due out on April 13! It’s the same title as a 1980 novella that Murakami disavowed as a “failed work” but later rewrote as Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Here’s what we know about that novella, and here are my best guesses about what we could be getting next month.
Last minute notice, but I’ll be participating in an event for SWET (Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators) this Saturday Japan time (Friday evening U.S. time). Really excited to talk about this topic, given that starting this website basically changed my life and set me on the path that guided me to my current career. Without it, I’m not sure what I would’ve ended up doing. It’s difficult to believe that I’ve been posting here for 15 years as of this month/next month. Here’s to 15 more.
Check out the link to the event here to register.