Haruki Murakami -- 1949- -- Criticism and interpretation
In Murakami's detective novels, pop culture references, irony, and hard-boiled genre conventions combine with magic realist prose to articulate the search for individual identity in a Japanese milieu structured by traditional communal values. At the same time, Murakami's work remains grounded in Japanese literary tradition, and he sees himself very much as a product of modern Japan. The thesis traces the blending of these diverse tendencies in three of Murakami’s most popular novels: A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Dance, Dance, Dance.
The Introduction provides an overview of the product, critical reception of Murakami's body of work, and my methodological approach. The overview provides the cultural and social background for the individual/corporate tension within his novels. Then, I examine current critical debates surrounding Murakami's works including his position as a postmodern writer and his status as a national author. In my methodology section, I outline my Marxist, new historicist and psychoanalytic critical approaches to Murakami's work followed by an exploration of his use of magic realist prose within the detective genre. Each of the next three chapters provides a close reading of one of the novels in which I examine through Murakami's recurring stylistic method the progression of his exploration of identity. The conclusion argues that the sense of coherence in Murakami's writing project stems from a recurring stylistic method and consistent effort to suggest new forms of living out Japanese cultural identity in postmodern, globalized terms.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
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Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Garland, Diana Lynn, "The Magical and the Mundane: Individualism, Corporate Identity, and Postmodern Pastiche in the Detective Novels of Haruki Murakami" (2002). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 1519.