ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, January 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

The lure of mystery

We are hungry for it, but we fear it so much. Bend space and transcend time, no worries, but don’t ascribe it real meaning.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 09 SEPTEMBER 2017 18:00 h GMT+1
murakami Haruki Murakami.

This month I read for the first time an author I had heard a lot about, the celebrated Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. 



Kafka on the Shore tells the story of “the world’s toughest fifteen-year old,” Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home. The chapters alternate to tell also the story of Mr. Nakata, an elderly man who suffered an accident as a boy and became mentally disabled. Mr. Nakata has the ability to talk with cats and make fish fall from the sky. Kafka has sex with women he suspects are his mother and sister, and, through an entrance opened by Mr. Nakata, ventures to a place that is not well-defined, something of a parallel dimension or limbo. Another character collects cats’ souls and, this is not clear either, apparently survives death.



Weird stuff, in other words. But at the same time, in Murakami’s telling, the story moves along in a plausible and straightforward way. As the novel progresses, strange things happen but there is nothing overtly spiritual or supernatural. There are no gods, spirits, or aliens. Instead, the magical just happens. It is a part of the story just as the characters’ eating and talking.



 



I’ve found it a curious, thought-provoking tale. It reminded me of a genre called magical realism (though different scholars would place Murakami in other genres) where, according to Google’s definition (c’mon, I can transgress some boundaries too!) the extraordinary is portrayed as ordinary in a way that invites alternative readings of reality.




Magical realism is a fiction genre in which magical elements blend to create a realistic atmosphere that accesses a deeper understanding of reality.




Reality is more than what we can see and touch, seems to be the message. It transcends the material but let’s not get carried over to prayers or overt religious claims, people.



The book got me thinking about our complex relationship with the spiritual. We are hungry for it, but we fear it so much. Bend space and transcend time, no worries, but don’t ascribe it real meaning. So much of our literature and cinema today takes us beyond the ordinary world–fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery – but what’s the point? Maybe the point is that there is not much of a point. Or that the point is out there but we can’t see it. Or that art is about not having a point. Or that to look for the point is to miss the point. Or that we want to look for the point but not find the point. Or something like that.



“You’re part of a brand-new world,” is Kafka on the Shore’s last sentence.[1] Yes you are, even if you or I or anyone can’t really describe what it is. Well, maybe a little.



 



[1] Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (New York: Vintage, 2005), 489.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The lure of mystery
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List

There has been an serious increase in persecution of Christian communities in China in the last months.

 
The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

 
The reliability of the Bible The reliability of the Bible

Jim Cecy, Senior Pastor, Campus Bible Church, answers the question Why is a defense of the reliability of the Bible important?

 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.