Murakami Haruki

These essays, like many of the Akutagawa Prize write-ups, are salvaged from my old culture blog, Sgt. Tanuki’s Lonely Hearts Club Blog.  I wrote them as I was preparing to teach a seminar on Murakami in 2012.  I reread everything of his that had been translated up to that point, and wrote about it.  I’ve read a lot of his work in the original, too, but since the class was going to be based on translations I mostly confined the essays to the English-language versions of his work.  Part of it was an attempt to read his short stories in chronological order (the English language collections mix them up, and don’t say when they were originally published), so don’t look for essays on The Elephant Vanishes or Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman as collections.

I also wrote about a few things that came out after the 2012 class.  If I ever get around to writing about Killing Commendatore I’ll put that here too.

I’ve been a fan of Murakami’s for basically my whole adult life, and have a fanboy’s love for most of his work.  That probably comes through in these essays, and also probably prevents them from being serious scholarship.  But they were some of the most satisfying things I’ve ever written…