Book Oblivion Academy’s newest course is here. I’m writing to let you know that the enrollment for Murakami & Magical Realism is officially open. In this fully online course, we unpack the genre of magical realism while exploring three of Haruki Murakami’s strangest novels: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Kafka on the Shore.
Throughout our course, we’ll get together every other week for live discussions about what we’re reading with participants from all over the world.
Here are a few questions I’ve been asked and more information about our course.
What is magical realism?
Magical Realism is a genre of literature in which fantastical, magical, and other-worldly occurrences are treated as not just possible, but realistic. Many of Haruki Murakami’s novels are given this label, although he has said on more than one occasion he doesn’t appreciate this genre designation. In our course, we’ll define the genre, analyze the three novels together, and finally, examine Murakami’s comments in order to make our own decisions as to whether his work deserves this label.
Who is this course for?
This is an adult literature course designed for the literature enthusiast who wants to learn more about the genre of magical realism. No prior knowledge of either magical realism or Murakami is expected. Some participants have read all of Murakami’s works while others crack open their first Murakami novel with us.
Participants will leave with a firmer grasp of this genre’s imprint on the literary field while also considering some of the more unique narrative devices that Murakami employs in these three books. While those objectives sound a bit technical, I assure you we will enjoy every ounce of these stories and gain a great deal of insight through our weekly discussion boards and biweekly live chats.
We have students enroll from all over the world. The community aspect of this course is a precious gift. Some participants love Murakami while others just want to learn more.
What do we learn?
Each unit lasts one week. On Monday of each week, new lectures are made available that pertain to either magical realism or the current reading. These lectures are recorded and can be watched at each participant’s convenience. At the end of each unit, students are invited to participate in a live discussion with other students from all over the world. Lectures and live chats are punctuated by written discussions for students to engage with the material and other course participants throughout the week.
|Understanding Realism||Week 1|
|Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World||Week 2|
|Defining Magical Realism||Week 3|
|Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World||Week 4|
|Magical Realism & Ontology||Week 6|
|The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle||Week 7|
|Magical Realism & Epistemology||Week 8|
|The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle||Week 9|
|Magical Realism & Linguistics||Week 10|
|The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle||Week 11|
|Magical Realism & the Uncanny||Week 13|
|Kafka on the Shore||Week 14|
|Murakami on Magical Realism||Week 15|
|Kafka on the Shore||Week 16|
What do I need?
The only materials you need are these three books and internet access. The reading is about 100 pages a week, which is less than 30 pages a day but still a challenging pace. We take a one week break in between novels to give participants a chance to catch up or get ahead. If you’ve already read any or all of these books, you’re encouraged to re-read so that you keep up with our discussions but this is not a requirement.
All lectures pertaining to magical realism are recorded and can be accessed on your desktop or cell phone. There is supplemental reading made available for participants wanting to read and know more. This reading is not required, but many students find this to be the most valuable aspect of these course offerings and students will continue to revisit the course for months.
Who is teaching this course?
I’ll be your instructor. I’m a writing and literature professor in real life and have been teaching Haruki Murakami at the college level for close to 10 years now. I focused my studies on him at the graduate level and happen to be ridiculously passionate about the ways in which his stories illustrate various literary and critical theories. Most of the research on Murakami is difficult to understand, just like the language of literary and critical theories is often impossible to penetrate. I have a knack for making difficult concepts accessible in language that is easy to understand, so you will not only leave this course with a firmer grasp of Haruki Murakami and these three novels, but literary and critical theories as well. I’m in the process of developing more than 12 adult literature courses focused on Murakami, and Murakami and Magical Realism is only the second course in our course series.
When do we start?
The course begins on September 4, 2017 and lasts 16 weeks.
There you have it. I can’t wait to get started and hope you decide to join us. If you have any questions, I’m only an email away!