Anamnesis, myth, and the political in selected works of Murakami Haruki
Geer, Ruthann Jones
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This thesis analyzes two novels of the contemporary Japanese author Murakami Haruki. It seeks to dispel the premise advanced by Ōe Kenzaburo, a Nobel Laureate in Literature, which regards Murakami as an inferior writer. Murakami's fast paced style bears resemblance to Western authors and seemingly ignores the literary traditions of Japan. Through study of the development of the novel in Japan and its characteristic elements, this thesis demonstrates that Murakami utilizes many of these valued precepts in his works. Evidence further supports the contention that these novels serve an anamnestic purpose through archetypal patterns and imagery. Murakami raises political questions that proceed from being cast in shadows to a more candid dialogue concerning Japanese actions in Manchuria, the misplaced trust of Japanese citizens, and a distorted idealism of broad cross sections of the populace.