‘More than the Sum of its Parts’: Popular Music, Gender, and Myth in Haruki Murakami’s Fiction
Yeung, Heather H.
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The work of Haruki Murakami is riven through with references to music. Indeed, music was Murakami’s livelihood before he started writing novels, and the author has written various essays and books about jazz and has published a book-length conversation with classical conductor Seiji Ozawa, and jazz and classical music pervade in Murakami’s fictional works. Popular music, too, provides an important international narrative texture to Murakami’s fiction, yet less critical attention has been paid to this musical indebtedness. The intertexts provided in Murakami’s work by the frequent references to pop songs and bands provide the starting point for a consideration of gender constructions in Murakami; in his work, we discover, musical and gender identities are inextricable and often assume highly affective, mythic roles.