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Murakami Ryu: Boredom And The Nostalgia For Shock

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Chapter Summary

This chapter brings out the strategy employed by Murakami Ryū more clearly, the author focuses on the experience of boredom and how he attempts to dispel it through shocks. His writings abound with shocks as well as with representations of apocalyptic violence and of self-destructive excesses in drugs and sex, but unlike for Simmel or Benjamin, these shocks are no longer given but have to be consciously produced. They are actively intended or yearned for rather than passively experienced. His heroes are agents rather than victims of shock. It also contains descriptions of sexual orgies, quarrels, vomiting, mad car driving, strangling games, concerts, fights, suicide-attempts, getting sick and hallucinating. This 'sensational' or 'scandalous' style should not be interpreted to mean that boredom has ceased to play any role in his writings.

Keywords: Benjamin; boredom; Murakami Ryū shock victims



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