Japanese Literature in Translation

A sobering quote from an interview with American professor Donald Keene in Asahi Shimbun.

However, most young American scholars of Japanese literature are more interested in contemporary literature. The works of Haruki Murakami have been published by Knopf, the outstanding publisher of translations, and are popular.
But, compared to 20 or 30 years ago, when Knopf published at least one Japanese novel every year, translations have appeared irregularly in recent years. Only a few editors believe that publishing a Japanese novel is so important that it must be continued, even if the book does not sell.

Unfortunately, later on in the piece he makes some idiotic comment about “good cause” for prejudices, but the link is there if you’re curious.

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