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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Saturday, July 9, 2022


 Lévi-Straus interprets the Oedipus myth as a conflict between two theories about where babies come from: by birth, in the normal way, or arising directly from the earth. 

We see in Murakami's novel a constant questioning of parentage.  All the major characters have difficult relations with their parents, disinheritance or questionable parentage, and there emerges an alternate form of reproduction, in which copies of women or young girls emerge out of cocoon-like structures. These women do not menstruate. The novel-within-the-novel describes this, and then it begins to happen in the fictional world of the novel itself. 

Pregnancy occurs without sexual intercourse, etc... Tengo finally sees a photo of his mother and finds that she looks like his own, older married lover. All of this is quite on the surface: the novel presents everything very redundantly and obviously. Each of the characters is figuring it out individually, so we have to follow the thought processes of each one of them, in a rather tedious way.  

The title of the novel seems to refer to Orwell, so there is a dystopian aspect to it. I'm thinking of the assassination of Abe, yesterday, where the perpetrator perhaps is resentful about some weird religious sect right out of Murakami's imagination.  It is a bit strange because Japan is a society with almost non-existent homicide rate, about .25 versus 5 for US (per 100,000 population). For example, 1 person in 2021 was killed in Japan by gun violence, as opposed to 45,000 in the US in the same year.   

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