Magic Realism In Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase

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"This has got to be, patently, the most unbelievable, the most ridiculous story I have ever heard," remarks the narrator and protagonist of Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase, almost as if aware of the fantastical interweaves within the otherwise realistic, believable novel. In many of his works, Murakami has adopted this signature style of portraying the unbelievable and far-fetched in realistic settings, and is one of numerous writers and artists to have done so throughout the years. This technique, termed "magic realism", has its roots in post-expressionist German painting as well as European and Latin American writing in the 20th century, and has been expounded by a host of critics and writers such as Franz Roh, Alejo Carpentier, and Angel Flores (Bowers, 7). Because of its diverse…show more content…
The steadily surging popularity of these magic realist works amongst Japanese individuals can be attributed to a number of factors: first, these texts commonly discuss the issues of urban existentialism, isolation, identity (or the lack thereof), cultural disorientation and social non-conformism, problems faced by a large majority of Japan's population and hence relatable to; second, apart from raising such issues, these magic realist novels also provide an alternate reality within reality, which offers some semblance of salvation for troubled readers. I would thirdly venture to assert that Japan furthermore possesses a rich history of magical elements in its culture – take for example the spiritual superstitions in Shinto mythology – thus making magic realism an even more relatable, distinctive and highly apt means of expression for the Japanese
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