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Reading the global : the reader-consumer and the Murakami translation phenomenon
翻譯季刊 = Translation Quarterly
  • Tak Hung, Leo CHAN, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date

Two crucial questions that remain unanswered in translation scholarship are: What leads people to buy translated fiction en masse, and how is it read? The spectacular success of the translated novels of Haruki Murakami makes him especially relevant as the test-case for understanding the issues of how such fiction is received by the reading public, and how the "mass readership" is affected by the translated novels they read in an era of globalization. Through a close study of several of Murakami's novels that have been overwhelmingly received (more particularly in the sense that they "have sold well") in not just the Greater China region but also the English-speaking world, the author clarifies the nature of translated fiction from a sociological, receptionist and extra-literary perspective. In the present article, three ways of viewing the "Murakami Phenomenon" in the East Asian area are considered- namely, the local, the regional and the global-in an attempt to explicate the remarkable success of such novels as Norwegian Wood and Kakfa on the Shore in Chinese translation.

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Copyright © Hong Kong Translation Society
Citation Information
Chan, L. T.-h. (2009). Reading the global: The reader-consumer and the Murakami translation phenomenon. Translation Quarterly, (53/54), 1-46.