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GETTING TO THE PULP OF HARUKI MURAKAMI'SNORWEGIAN WOOD:TRANSLATABILITY AND THE ROLE OF POPULAR CULTURE

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Date Issued:
2004
Abstract/Description:
Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood (1987) veers from his favored detective-fiction genre by offering readers a 1960s coming-of-age romance, a story whose plot nonetheless spins around the protagonist seeking out his personal identity. The conflicts between Japanese tradition and modern, global perspectives are illustrated through the inclusion of popular culture elements such as music, literature and films. This thesis seeks to show how the novel's references to popular culture of the 1960s combine to help the protagonist establish an identity for himself as well as his place within the universal community. First, though, the project explores the impact of the translatability issues that arise with each of the novel's two English translations, variations dictated by the needs of differing audiences. The introduction provides an overview of the study, as well as historical background pertinent to the understanding of the Sixties-era popular culture iconography privileged by Murakami. My methodology favors a cultural studies approach and utilizes reader response and reception theories. Separate chapters then compare specifics between the two translations and examine the functionality and significance of music, literature and film within the novel. The conclusion justifies the subsequent deviations between the translations and argues for the necessity and value of both English versions, but claims Rubin's as the definitive English translation. Likewise, the study of the novel's many popular culture references exemplifies the roles that music, books, and film play in the creation of the protagonist's individual identity in Norwegian Wood while simultaneously illustrating the effectiveness of using globally recognizable media as a bridge between cultures.
Title: GETTING TO THE PULP OF HARUKI MURAKAMI'SNORWEGIAN WOOD:TRANSLATABILITY AND THE ROLE OF POPULAR CULTURE.
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Name(s): Zuromski, Jacquelyn, Author
Murphy, Patrick D., Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood (1987) veers from his favored detective-fiction genre by offering readers a 1960s coming-of-age romance, a story whose plot nonetheless spins around the protagonist seeking out his personal identity. The conflicts between Japanese tradition and modern, global perspectives are illustrated through the inclusion of popular culture elements such as music, literature and films. This thesis seeks to show how the novel's references to popular culture of the 1960s combine to help the protagonist establish an identity for himself as well as his place within the universal community. First, though, the project explores the impact of the translatability issues that arise with each of the novel's two English translations, variations dictated by the needs of differing audiences. The introduction provides an overview of the study, as well as historical background pertinent to the understanding of the Sixties-era popular culture iconography privileged by Murakami. My methodology favors a cultural studies approach and utilizes reader response and reception theories. Separate chapters then compare specifics between the two translations and examine the functionality and significance of music, literature and film within the novel. The conclusion justifies the subsequent deviations between the translations and argues for the necessity and value of both English versions, but claims Rubin's as the definitive English translation. Likewise, the study of the novel's many popular culture references exemplifies the roles that music, books, and film play in the creation of the protagonist's individual identity in Norwegian Wood while simultaneously illustrating the effectiveness of using globally recognizable media as a bridge between cultures.
Identifier: CFE0000258 (IID), ucf:46242 (fedora)
Note(s): 2004-12-01
M.A.
Arts and Sciences, Department of English
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): translation
cultural studies
popular culture
Haruki Murakami
Jay Rubin
Alfred Birnbaum
Norwegian Wood
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0000258
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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