Haruki Murakami's The Trilogy Of The Rat

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Introduction: The Trilogy of the Rat is definitely one of the most unusual names given to a collection of three books. The first three novels of the famous Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, Hear The Wind Sing, Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase, have been popularly ascribed by the above name. The primary and most literal explanation of this peculiar naming is that each of the three books has an enigmatic if not metaphorical secondary character called Rat and much of the essence of the novels emerges through his exploits. There has been much debate about the identity of the Rat; whether he is actually a person, a struggling, drifting, dissatisfied author, or he is, in the end, only a figment of the narrator‘s imagination, a bafflingly personal alter-ego associated with memory and desire. Notwithstanding the crisis of identity, Rat is the only character who receives a proper name, however…show more content…
However, they achieve existence only through the words of the narrator. The first person narrative with typical postmodern detachment unfolds the lives of these women, shrouded in mystery, indefinable pain, and an acute sense of loss which the decentred and apathetic narrator recognises but cannot fathom. Rubin notes another peculiar tendency in the narrative, which however, is only evident in the original Japanese versions. He writes:

It is important that the word Murakami uses for “I” throughout is boku. Although the “I-novel” is a long-established fixture of serious Japanese fiction, the word most commonly used for the “I” narrator has a formal tone: watakushi or watashi. Murakami chose instead the casual boku, another pronoun-like word for “I”, but an unpretentious one used primarily by young men in informal circumstances. (Women never use boku for “I”. In the few cases where Murakami creates a female narrator, they use the gender-neutral watashi.
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