Monday, January 10, 2005

Mas or Rat? 

I'm reading Mouse or Rat? by Eco these days, a book that deals with the fun to be had with translations. Anyway, that got me thinking about my friend Mas in LA (who is a superb musician, and also has a funky kanji name that even most Japanese people can't write to boot). I'm sure you'll like the way he thinks/writes about food.

He and I used to drive all over LA looking for good ramen. We found (and devoured) a lot! I also like the fact that he did a very interesting translation recently of one of my favorite Japanese writers, Murakami Haruki. Here's a little bit of what Mas writes on his webpage...

"I also realized that whenever he wrote about cooking food, his descriptions practically let me taste it in my mouth. Somehow there are lot of pastas in his novel.I picked up a collection of his fairly old short stories in Tokyo. There is a story titled "In a year of spaghetti." Because it was short, I decided to translate it for fun. There may be some grammatical errors. This seemingly trivial project turned out to be pretty hard. I might do few more if I feel like it..."

Here are a few lines of his translation...

1971 - it was a year of spaghetti.

In 1971, I boiled spaghetti to live, and lived to boil spaghetti. Steam rising from an aluminum pot was my pride, and tomato sauce simmering in a saucepan was my hope. I got a gigantic aluminum pot that could even be used to bath a German Shepherd; bought a cooking timer; went around different international grocery stores to gather strangely named condiments; found a technical book on spaghetti at a foreign bookseller; and bought tomatoes by the dozen.

Interested? You can read more HERE. Mas, for all you do, this 替え玉's for you!

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