Translator of Haruki Murakami’s "A Wild Sheep Chase," and many others
It's Alfred Birnbaum! This was so great. The guy's work is important for translators, for Murakami, and for getting Westerners to read anything at all about Japan that didn't involve the Golden Pavilion or samurai swords. Matt, thank you!
Matt, if you feel like getting Jay Rubin some day too, you've got my pre-thumbs-up. :) I read and reread his Gone Fishin' entry like it was a novella, soaking up the sarcasm, wondering if I was really meant to learn or just be entertained. Wish I'd had him as a language teacher.
Birnbaum and Murakami roaming Mexico with a helicopter... the makings for a short story of its own.
Very Interesting. I do agree with you insinuation that maybe he has some responsibility for modern perceptions of Japan. It sounds like his life growing up in Japan back then would make a fascinating read all on it's own. He should consider writing it down one day.