March 1, 2021

The adventure of living (and translating) Murakami's dreams | Blog Doc & Roll

The adventure of living (and translating) Murakami's dreams | Blog Doc & Roll


Mette Holm is not a famous writer, but the Danish readers of Haruki Murakami they have also become theirs. For decades, he has worked practically in the shadows, translating the successful Japanese novels. In addition to finding a common ground between two languages ​​full of nuances, she is responsible for accurately reproducing the oniricas metaphors of the author.

"The art of translation is the marriage between language and imagination," says director Nitesh Anjaan (Denmark, 1988), who is responsible for the documentary Dreaming MurakamI vindicates the work of literary translation through the figure of Holm.

After screening at festivals like the Montreal RIDM, the movie jumps to streaming Y can be seen for free during its first 48 hours available on the Internet with English subtitles, from the afternoon of Saturday, January 19 to the afternoon of Monday, January 21. Murakami himself has announced it from his Facebook account.

The film makes visible what many of us go unnoticed: work, or rather life experience, which requires adapting the words of another, especially when it belongs to another culture. Anjaan's camera follows the dedicated translator for a whole year, as she travels once again to Japan and prepares the translation of what was the first book of the eternal nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Listen to the song of the wind (1979), published in Europe in recent years.

The adventure of living (and translating) Murakami's dreams

Mette Holm, the woman behind the Danish editions of Murakami's novels

"Dedication is the word to describe Mette. His was a vital decision that he took when he was very young and that he has maintained for many years. Although she feels comfortable immersing herself in Murakami's universe, it is very generous for her to do the work she does. Her effort makes another shine without her receiving a recognition ", tells EL PAÍS the filmmaker during the presentation of the documentary in Montreal.

Therefore, the translator and the translation are the real protagonists of this story: "Murakami is a great inspiration for anyone who is dedicated to a creative profession, but when I met Mette I was fascinated by her life. There is something magical in his work that he needed to explain. "

In a way, the director of Dreaming Murakami It also acts as a translator. In his case he explains to the spectators the work of Mette, eclipsed by the fame of the Japanese. "I was not very aware of it while shooting, but at one point I realized that I was taking his inner and literary world to another language, that of the image, and that his work and that of a film director is not They are so different. "

The author of Tokyo Blues (1987) and Kafka on the shore (2002) remains an abstract presence in the film, which adopts the tone of Japanese novels. At one point in the documentary, the translator participates in a public meeting with the writer, but Nitesh Anjaan prefers not to show it on the screen and thus maintain the distance between them.

"He is not very fond of appearing before a camera and I did not want him to attract all the attention of the story, which in fact tells many other things. I have lost many opportunities to show the film because international film distributors were not convinced that Murakami does not appear in it. In spite of everything, I think it is the best thing that could happen to the film ", defends the filmmaker, who is now trying to make streaming help recover part of the lost audience.

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