Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2010.34.275
The Supernatural Elements as Metaphors of Life in W. B. Yeats's Purgatory and Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore*
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Hanyang University
원고접수일: 2010년 09월 20일, 수정일: 2010년 11월 03일, 게재확정일: 2010년 12월 10일
Abstract
Yeats and Murakami are writers who believe in spirits. They both treat them as if they are real. Yeats’s Purgotory is a story of Father and Son, Father killing his own son to disrupt the cycle of Life that is tainted, whereas Kafka on the Shore is a story of Mother and Son, Mother causing all the tragedies in Kafka’s father, sister, and himself. Kafka’s mother is a person of Memory that stays constant, which is the origin of all the tragedies, and refuses to flow with time; and Son intervenes in her Fate, changing her and himself. The leitmotif of the novel is the Oedipus complex. In the meantime, Purgatory is a practice of Yeats’s religious system of Life and humanity. In the play, the two kinds of people are illustrated by Father and Son; Father can see the invisible, ghosts, but Son cannot. The play is based on the conception of souls being born again and again in endless cycles. To disrupt it Father kills his own Son, as he had killed his own Father. It is beyond the moral of the world, killing his own son, following his own belief.
Both works could be read as a metaphor of life. One relies on psychology, and the other relies on mythology. Murakami may have read Yeats, and Yeats might be interested in Murakami if he lived and read him. Murakami is in a position to deal with this kind of subtle subject in a subtle way, because he is a writer of the East well versed in the West. In the same way, Yeats was in a unique position, who was familiar with things eastern. Hence, their works manifest strong inclinations toward mysterious milieu, most prominently what is supernatural.


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