Thursday, April 13, 2023

4:13 Haruki Murakami's New Full-Length Novel Due on April 13

Murakami books are addictive, at least for the people who love them. That can translate into a lot of sleepless nights when you start reading him, as each book is unputdownable. The famed Japanese writer is known to evoke extreme reactions so you can either love him or hate him. No prizes for guessing which side I’m on.

Haruki Murakami wrote a story of a walled city when he was fresh off his debut. More than four decades later, as a seasoned and acclaimed novelist, he gave it a new life as “The City and Its Uncertain Walls.”

It was three years ago when he felt the time had come to revisit the story that he thought was imperfect but had important elements, such as the wall and the shadow, and tackle them again based on what he was feeling on his skin.


       Murakami in ... Maltese 

       At Lovin Malta Sam Vassallo reports that Murakami Bil-Malti: Famous Japanese Author Gets Local Translation For First Time Ever, as Murakami's Norwegian Wood has been translated into Maltese. 
       Yes, as translator Charles Flores acknowledges on the publisher's publicity page: "It-traduzzjoni għall-Malti saret mill-verżjoni bl-Ingliż" -- the translation is second-hand, via the English version -- so that's ... unfortunate (I sit here weeping at the thought ...), but, still, good to see the work available in a smaller language. 

Haruki Murakami's New Full-Length Novel Due on April 13

Celebrated Japanese author Haruki Murakami will release his first new novel in six years this April, publisher Shinchosha Publishing announced on Wednesday.

There was little detail given about the new work, which will be Murakami’s first novel since “Killing Commendatore” was published in February 2017.


     New Kawakami Mieko novel 

       In The Japan Times Thu-Huong Ha writes about 600 pages all at once: What readers are saying about Mieko Kawakami's new novel
       The novel is 黄色い家 ('The Yellow House'; see also the Chuko publicity page) -- and:
The book is indeed a page-turner, being billed as noir and mystery, filled with rapidly paced dialogue instead of the long, dense sentences characteristic of the author.
       English-speaking readers will have to wait a while: "The English release of Sisters in Yellow is scheduled for 2025" 

       (I'm not quite sure why it's being called Sisters in Yellow -- on the cover of the Japanese edition as well; the Japanese title is 黄色い家, and '家' definitely means 'house' and not 'sisters', so .....) 

IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THE NEWS YOU ARE UNINFORMED. IF YOU DO FOLLOW THE NEWS YOU ARE MISINFORMED.  The more you trust the media, the less accurate you are.

The other day I wrote about the correlation between political ideology and assumptions about how many unarmed Blacks are killed by police. In it I discussed a study done by the Skeptic Research Center that showed that people who identify as liberal are least likely to guess how many unarmed Black men are killed by police.

Not by a little, but by a lot. Almost none of the liberals guessed in the right range–the number is about 10 a year–and over half guessed that the number was between 1000 to 10,000.

Broken Pieces

Czech out the broken plates post (and first posted about them more than 15 years ago), but I love these photographic sculptures by Martin Klimas so much that I wanted feature them in a proper post.

From a height of three meters, porcelain figurines are dropped on the ground, and the sound they make when they hit trips the shutter release. The result: razor-sharp images of disturbing beauty, more than the sum of its parts. Temporary sculptures made visible to the human eye by high-speed photography. The porcelain statuette bursting into pieces isn’t what really captures the attention; the fascination lies in the genesis of a dynamic figure that seems to stop/pause the time and make time visible itself.

See also Klimas’ Flowervases (“Flawlessly arranged flower vases are shot by steel bullets and captured at the moment of their destruction”) and Sonic Sculptures (“Klimas begins with splatters of paint in fuchsia, teal and lime green, positioned on a scrim over the diaphragm of a speaker — then, the volume is turned up”)

Washington Post – The public library in Oakland, Calif., has an online fan following – “If you’ve ever mistakenly left a note or a to-do list — or worse, a love letter — behind in a library book, and figured your personal item was tossed by the librarian, you might be wrong.
Especially if you live in Oakland, Calif. In her 20 years as a librarian, Sharon McKellar has unearthed all kinds of left-behind personal items — from doodles to recipes to old photographs — nestled between the pages of returned library books. 

She carefully removes them and reads them, then she scans and uploads them to the library’s website after scrubbing any personal identifying information. It has become a hobby, and she has got quite a following of people who are equally charmed by the forgotten finds. “Part of the magic is that they sort of just appear,” McKellar said. 

“Sometimes, they may have been in a book for a really long time before we notice them there.” McKellar — a librarian at the Oakland Public Library — marvels at each memento, no matter how mundane. She chronicles them all…”