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Re(2): of Burning Barns and Condor Heroes
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[QUOTE] [URL=http://www.paperbackparis.com/haruki-murakami-film-adaptation-burning/]I'll get to saying something about this later, maybe?[/URL] Barn Burning is one of Murakami's many short stories that sticks with me, much more so than his weaker newer long-form works. Things: An extravagant two-hour movie out of what was at most a twenty-page short story reminds me of the awful results of stretching the Hobbit into three movies when it should barely pad out one. All the more difficult when you have an author whose spoken dialogue is poor compared with quite enjoyable narration. Is moving the setting to Korea an affront to the original setting? I don't think so, even while I thought the Ghost in the Shell whitewashing was insulting. I suppose the geographical proximity helps. I have a vague and mysterious memory of the English version of this story that appeared in the New Yorker having an ominious final sentence or two that was not in the original. A "localization" attempt like the chopped-down English edition of Wind-Up Bird, but in reverse, or a Murakamian magical realism event happening in my memories? While we're at it: what about editing down books in translation that needed editing in the original, or having the author add bits? Is the literary world ready for the equivalent of Final Fantasy VII International? [/QUOTE] As I'm sure Maese or another wuxia fan could say more about it (even my parents mentioned it!), but there are later editions of Louis Cha's Legend of the Condor heroes books that are substantially edited compared to the original... we're talking substantial in the form of some characters being entirely removed from the story! Because I have not read them all and am not aware of the times in which the edits were done, I'm not sure if the edits happened because Louis Cha actually thought "huh this is better" or because he wanted to have a reissue that could make more money, or because the Chinese govt told him to make some edits, or.... In one of Naoki Urasawa's ManBen episodes, when talking with the author of Golgo 13, he mentions that he has tried to go back and redraw some parts of his earlier manga that he thought seemed kind of rough or not good, such as in YaWaRa. However, the fan reaction to that was profoundly negative! He said one fan wrote to him and said "what gives you the right to do that?!", and he was stunned at the thought that the author of the work didn't have the right to do so, but it was interesting to reflect upon how the experience of reading that is not owned by him. I do think that some amount of editing in localization happens as a matter of course, because the localization often necessitates some not-insignificant changes just by its nature. However, I do think that radical edits are probably always going to be treated as suspect, because a non-native reader that is already beholden to the translation now has the second layer of changes, which themselves may or may not be good... indeed, there are plenty of examples in other media where such changes happened much to the detriment of the original work (see: all kinds of anime). I think such a change would only really be widely accepted for a well-known work if it came accompanied with an edition containing corresponding edits in the native language.
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