Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Compassion as catalyst: The literary manifestations of Murakami Haruki's transformation from Underground to Kafka on the Shore
by Skeen, Autumn Alexander, M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2015, 180; 10020164
Abstract (Summary)

Murakami Haruki's primary readership consists of Japan's four million born between 1978 and 1990—an Ice Age of hiring freezes and layoffs. Murakami's cynical antiheroes modeled a blasé and passive cool. Japanese youth assimilated his tenor and tone. A moral struggle was missing. Following Tokyo's 1995 cult-instigated gas attacks, the repatriating author delved into his 1997-98 reportage, Underground. Despairing apocalyptic outlooks among the economically abandoned respondents rocked Murakami's insularity. The shock engendered his unprecedented compassion.

This thesis arises from phenomena revealed by current events' intersection with moral philosophy and disposition theory. This thesis claims that Murakami's compassion for Japan's stymied youth triggered his transformation from creating detrimental art to work of engaged responsibility, and that his moral turn manifests first as the 2002 didactic novel, Kafka on the Shore. Murakami's ensuing integration of moral values in his postmodernist narratives has led to the short-list for the Nobel Prize.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Magruder, Emily Daniell
Commitee:
School: California State University, Dominguez Hills
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian literature, Religion, Philosophy, Literature
Keywords: Japanese Current Events, Japanese Suicides, Kafka on the Shore, Lost Generation, Murakami, Underground
Publication Number: 10020164
ISBN: 9781339512259
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