Murakami

If there is any indication that the concept of surrealism has lost its world-historical significance, it is in the habitual application of this term to any fantastic intermingling of the mystic, representation, and the narrative of disaffected everydayness. No surrealist—nor for that matter a true Camusesque existentialist—could weep at the absurdity of ‘a wild sheep chase’. The existentialist, rather, would laugh, which is precisely what never occurs, what is excluded, from this kind of pursuit—the pursuit of nothing other than the weakness of one’s own spirit that remains opaque even as one struggles desperately never to surrender finitude for world-historical meaning. Time, rather, “is surely passing” for yet another—one wonders why we need more—alienated soul who can neither lose himself in everydayness—in a world of universal anonymity—nor transcend this everydayness through the standard retreat (“spirit quest”) into the inwardness of heaven (“the wind’s private thoroughfare”). All that is left is the trace of a melancholy catharsis that would be nostalgic were it not for the fact it has no object when one’s culture itself has been interrupted by war.

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