Toshiki Okada’s ‘Breakfast’ seems as though it ought to provide plenty of material for a discussion of the challenges with which it confronts a translator. Here is one candidate: its punctuation. The punctuation is decidedly non-English. How does one translate a comma from Japanese into Englis…
Longreads for the Lockdown
Doctors, solitude and the stones within us – for fiction about isolation, it has to be Haruki Murakami. Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin.
Plague Diary: March
‘Things have changed without seeking permission.’ A plague diary of this March, by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn.
‘Our view of the morning’s entertainment was restricted by the width of the door frame.’ Bruce Chatwin writes about his imprisonment during a coup in Benin.
The Leech Barometer
‘A leech bodes this: you will, sooner or later, overflow yourself. ’ Rebecca Giggs on leeches and the borders of the human body.
The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror
‘Her eyes fluttered open and I felt like I was at the edge of the mouth of a cave, with every intention of jumping in.’ For pure escapism, lose yourself in the nineteenth-century Paris of Carmen Maria Machado.
Translated by Michael Emmerich
Michael Emmerich is associate professor of Japanese literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, the editor of Read Real Japanese Fiction and New Penguin Parallel Texts: Short Stories in Japanese and the translator of more than a dozen books by Japanese authors including, most recently, Yasushe Inoue's T?gy? (Bullfight).More about the translator →