Haruki Murakami and his Worlds

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Haruki Murakami & his Worlds
Fall 2023
Taught By: Justin Neuman
Section: A

CRN: 15930

Credits: 4

Having never written before in his life, Haruki Murakami was wasting an afternoon at a baseball game in 1978 when, as he tells the story, he had an epiphany that he should become a novelist and went home to begin Hear the Wind Sing (1979). Since then, writing over a dozen novels translated into over fifty languages, Murakami has become among the most popular and critically acclaimed writers to emerge from contemporary Japan. With one foot in global pop-culture and the other in Japan’s traditional culture – his father taught Japanese literature and his grandfather was a buddhist monk – Murakami has earned the moniker of world’s most popular cult novelist. In this course we will read novels, essays, and short fiction chronologically from across his career, exploring an oeuvre that is at once experimental and genre-defying, featuring coming-of-age narratives, stories of alienation and loneliness, ubiquitous cats, surreal futurism, and historical metafiction. We will consider Murakami’s role as archivist of some of the most transformative events in Japan’s recent history, including the Kobe Earthquake, the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system, and the Fukushima disaster. We will also examine his role as cultural conscience with regard to issues like the legacy of the Second World War and the experience of atomic bombardment. The course will cover texts including Hear the Wind Sing (1979), A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985), Norwegian Wood (1987), The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995), Underground (2000), After the Quake (2000), and Kafka on the Shore (2002).

This course fulfills the Single Author/Text requirement in Literary Studies.
After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LIT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:04pm EST 12/5/2023