"White Lies" translation

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Nov 11, 2011 14:56
Another translation I've done for class. This one was tough. It is an article "White Lies" by Haruki Murakami. The translation is by me. It took me roughly six hours to do (I was watching television for 2 hours while looking up the kanji at first).









英語にはwhite lieという言葉がある。これは「罪のない(方便の、儀礼的な)嘘」のことです(これはほんと)。文字どおり「真っ白な嘘」。僕の嘘はどっちかというとこっちに近い。害はない、と思う。だって赤い大福餅を12個無理に食べさせられたりしちゃ、たまらないものね。

Lying is not my strength. However, I do not hate lying itself. It is strange to say, but, in other words, I am not good at making serious lies, although I quite like harmless nonsense.

In the past, I was asked by a monthly magazine to write a book review. Because I am a person that writes books, but I am not a critic, so, if possible, I do not want to do book reviews. At that time, there were circumstances, so I accepted saying, “Well and good, I’ll do it.” However, because doing it as usual was not interesting, I decided to fabricate a fictional book and that criticism would be done in detail. It’s people who don’t exist’s life story’s book review, among other things. I tried this and it was quite pleasant. Although I was able to save the time of reading a book, I used my head to fabricate sentences. Moreover, it is not as if I resent the book’s author saying, “Doing that, is not a good thing to write.”

After the time this review was written, from no one “That is not a good like at all” type of complaint letters and “Where can I get this book” type of queries did not come. However, I was ready for them, but not one letter came, which I was relieved about. In the end, I no longer cared if no one read it or how it was.

After that, I now answer seriously instead, but in my brazen youth, I often spoke sloppily in interviews. I was asked what kind of books I read, “Ah, recently I often read Meiji Era novels. I like early unification forms influenced minor authors, specifically speaking, the works of Mataguchi Shiyogo and Osaka Gobei, I now have read and I think are also stimulating, I think.”

Of course, which authors are also not real. It is a complete fabrication. However, no one also understood that. Letting things line up naturally from my mouth is good instead. There is no good or bad.

In Japanese it is called a “red lie”, but do you know why the lie a red one? Because in Nara Period Japan, there was a terrible type of judgment for people who were caught in the world malicious lying, having 12 red rice cakes with bean jam stuffed into their mouths and choking them to death, is a usual example. Why is the lie a red one? The past weighs on my mind and sometime I was thinking of examining it, but in several decades I am still always busy and my hands are tied(telling lies) so I have not yet examined it.

In English it is called a “white lie.” This is a “sinless (justified, courteous) lie” (This is really true). Literally “white lie.”Between the two, my lie is closer to this. It is not harmful, I think. Because being forced to eat 12 red rice cakes with jam is unbearable.