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Let’s Meet in a Dream: “Philip Marlowe Part I” by Haruki Murakami

February 21, 2010

“Philip Marlowe Part I” is a short-short from Haruki Murakami and Shigesato Itoi’s 1981 strange collaborative story collection, Let’s Meet in a Dream.

It was daybreak when you heard a knock at your door. You opened it and saw your friend standing in the doorway, shaking violently, with a 45 caliber automatic pistol in his right hand. He begged you to help him escape to Mexico.

It’s not like these things just happen every so often in a man’s life. No—for most people, something like this happening isn’t even a one in a million shot. Even if it did happen you’d be sleeping like a baby right through it all and not even notice the knocking. Mexico’s too far away, anyway.

But if something like this were to actually happen, I’m sure we would be like Philip Marlowe and make sure to brew a nice cup of coffee before we start anything.

“Hang on. I’m going to put some coffee on. We can talk when I’m done.” Something like that.

I’ve actually done something like that before.

It was five in the morning when some girl knocked on my door. It looked like it was raining a little outside, because she was drenched as a broken steam iron.

I wonder how she’s doing? I wonder if she’s still knocking on people’s doors at five o’clock in the morning?

Translator’s note: For those unfamiliar with the Philip Marlowe coffee reference, there is a perfectly fitting blog post about it here.

From → Fiction, Translation

  1. wrowa permalink

    I just want to write a comment in order to really thank you for your great translation work. As a fan of both Murakami and Itoi I really love and appreciate that you’ve translated so many of the short stories of Let’s Meet in a Dream. Especially, since it’s really hard to find anything by Itoi in English.

    So: Thank You :]

    • Lindsay permalink

      Oh, absolutely. Thank you for the kind words. As a fan of both Murakami and Itoi myself, I love working on these and look forward to when I can get through the whole book! 🙂

  2. Victor permalink

    This is great! I can’t wait for part 2 !

  3. apprectiater permalink

    please continue the short story translations! it is so good!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Haruki Murakami and Shigesato Itoi: Let’s Meet in a Dream (Yume de Aimashou) « Yomuka!

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