In and impossibility. This binary creates an

            In Haruki Murakami’s world, what
seemingly is a normal plot suddenly turns into something unexpected, which in a
subpar level, can be considered weird: talking cats and monkeys, bizarre
dreams, and twisted realities. Again, in a subpar level, these uncanny things
are just elements which make his fiction interesting, but looking into it,
these rather absurd elements develop how the characters, the main characters
mostly, see themselves as creatures, living in worlds.

            In fact,
the study conducted by Dil (2007) purported that the characters in the first
eleven of his novels, as well as in his earlier short stories undergo
existential anxieties because of capitalism. This as Mad Weber calls it, the
characters are victims of “bureaucratic machination” which can cause a loss of

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In a similar study, Lu Yu (2013)
concluded that the characters in some of Murakami’s novels also experienced self-alienation,
which leads to a loss of identity. The study then puts forth the idea that this
phenomenon is an explanation as to why the characters either retreated, or
traversed into an “other world”, or into an imaginary world.


Harking from these ideas, the
study then focuses on the study of Haruki Murakami’s selected fiction most
especially those that were published in the 21st century: three of his novels (Kafka on the Shore, The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki
and His Years of Pilgrimage, and After
Dark) and three of his later short stories (“Town of Cats”, “A Shinagawa Monkey”,
and “Samsa in Love”).


The study aims to explain the
surreal elements present in his work, not just as mere impossibilities, rather
as realities created by the characters as product of their unconscious in
search of their identities. In doing so, the research uses the theories of the
fantastic, most especially the ideas of Tzvetan Todorov in explaining the
uncanny elements in the texts. Todorov’s
ideas focus on the binary of possibility and impossibility. This binary creates
an ambiguity, not only in the part of the character/s in a story, but also in
the reader’s minds as well. In resolving this ambiguity, a confrontation
between the character, and the phenomenon should be put emphasis to explain how
the uncanniness of the work operates. In doing so, taking in consideration the
fact that the characters experience alienation and identity loss are primal
factors in unravelling the intellectual, at the same time visceral, “other


            Additionally, the paper also applies
the ideas of Jacques Lacan in unraveling the identities of the characters which
resulted from and because of traversing into an “other world”. Lacan’s concepts
on the real, the imaginary order, and the
symbolic order (the big other) are used to further discuss the loss of the
identities of the characters, and how they regained it during and after navigating
through the “other world.”

Lastly, the study includes study
plans in teaching the selected fiction of Haruki Murakami, which can be used
most especially in the teaching of 21st Century World Literature to Senior High
School students. The subject is apt for this course in K-12 since Murakami is a
contemporary writer, and some of his works were written and published in the
turn of the century.