ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, February 23   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
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



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.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
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.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What is Paul's main message in Galatians? What is Paul's main message in Galatians?

“God the Father, the Son and the Spirit are at work in our lives, through the gospel, to bring us into a relationship with theTrinity”, Peter Mead, Director of Cor Deo, says.

 
Why are some Christians opposed to higher education? Why are some Christians opposed to higher education?

“I can understand why people are cautious about higher education, but we need to understand that education in itself is not the danger”, says Daryl McCarthy.

 
Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election

Many hope their effort will inspire a new generation of political representatives with a strong Christian faith. “God has a long-term plan”.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
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.