By Stephen Snyder
This article surveys the accomplishments of Nobel Prize winner Oe Kenzaburo and different writers of the post-war iteration, whereas having a look extra to ascertain the literary parameters of the "post-Oe" new release. It contains essays on Endo Shusaku, Hayashi Kyoko, Kanai Mieko, Kurahashi Yumiko, Murakami Haruki, Murakami Ryu, Nakagami Kenji, Oe Kenzaburo, Ohba Minako, Shimada Masahiko, Takahashi Takako and Yoshimoto Banana.
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Additional resources for Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan
Yet his concerns clearly aﬀect and inspire other writers. 23 Wakamori goes on to suggest that Murakami’s Hard Boiled Wonderland is actually a response to Mishima’s Sea of Fertility, which announced what Mishima considered to be the death of Japan. ” The older Ôe, however, still appears to see the end as a possible beginning. 25 This ending, however, is not an invitation to despair. Unlike Mishima, whose dead protagonists leave the living only with a feeling of betrayal and emptiness, or Abe, whose characters survive in misery, and above all unlike Murakami, whose pro32 ÔE KENZABURÔ tagonists commit a sort of suicide to the outside world, Ôe gives us a vision of the outside world revitalized by the sacriﬁce of a body.
The Japanese are able to handle everything without God. They are able to live with their ambiguity, showing no feeling for or interest in the church, in the torments of sin, in the yearning for salvation—in all the things we white men have thought to be the fundamental requirements to live as a human being. How can this be? How can this be? 8 If Endô is to be labeled merely as a “Japanese Christian writer,” the only convenient way to do so is to put the focus exclusively upon his condemnations of Japanese moral “ambiguity” compared with the all-too-clear prescriptions and proscriptions of Western Christianity.
I am alone at the furthest periphery of existence. Here the world expires and is still. [p. ] 21 Susan J. Napier It is fascinating to contrast the endings of these three apocalyptic novels. 15 Cut oﬀ from the body, which lies dying in the real world, the self in “End of the World” speaks of his “responsibilities,” but these are not responsibilities to an outer collectivity of other human beings. 16 In The Ark Sakura, Abe uses water to transport his protagonist down to a netherworld of dead shadows.
Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan by Stephen Snyder