It is no secret that reading a book is a wonderful way to gain new insights and perspectives on the world around you. From the day the unknown corona virus entered our lives, it disrupted many things and changed the lifestyles of people all over the world. To be brave in this new world, it may be time to pursue surreal stories that no longer seem strange, and sometimes get as far away from the facts as possible.
Surrealism was a cultural movement that emerged in post-World War I Europe, in which artists depicted irrational scenes and developed techniques to allow the subconscious mind to fantasize. The surrealist movement was widespread and diverse, spreading across continents, cultures, and time periods.
The movement itself may be over, but surrealism still exists in literature today, transcending writing, filmmaking, sculpture, and theater. Surrealism in literature can be defined as an artistic attempt to connect reality and imagination. Surrealists seek to overcome the contradictions of the conscious and unconscious mind by creating unreal or strange and confrontational stories.
In fact, instead of relying on storytelling, writers use surrealistic images, ideas, or poetic techniques to try to push boundaries, free the mind, and force readers to think and analyze what they discover.
Although the worlds in these books may be completely unrecognizable, they have a way of highlighting some important and vital aspects of humanity. You can discover the key features of surrealism in literature along with examples of literary works made in this style.
In this article, we have introduced 5 thoughtful and influential surreal books that take you away from your real life for a while and maybe when you return to your normal life, you will look at life differently with the impact it has had on you.
If you are interested in strange, dreamy or hidden visual realms, you will love surrealism in every way.
Kafka on the shore
Kafka on the Shore, one of Haruki Murakami’s most famous works, was first published in Japanese in 2002. The English translation of this book was among the top 10 books of the New York Times in 2005 and in 2006 it received the World Fantasy Award for Best Fiction.
Murakami can skillfully use a combination of popular culture, magical realism, complex but seemingly mundane events to create an extraordinary world in which his characters experience love, loss, melancholy and happiness.
His writing style combines elements of surrealism and parallel worlds to evoke a world that seems far-fetched but temptingly accessible.
Kafka on the Shore combines two parallel stories to tell the story of Kafka Tamura and Saturo Nakata: Kafka is a 15-year-old boy and book reader who leaves home to find his mother and sister, and this is the beginning of his adventures. Nakata is an old Japanese man who, due to a childhood accident, has a strange ability to talk to cats and spends his day finding and returning lost cats to their owners.
The individual chapters are Kafka’s storybook, which is in his own language, and the couple chapters are related to the second story, the Nakata story, which is narrated by Murakami in the language of the omniscient (third person). Although the two characters seem to have nothing to do with each other, their paths to the end of the novel are intertwined in a very attractive and surreal style.
Kafka’s book explores and sometimes challenges our imaginations of time, destiny, chance, love, and the nature of human reality.
In an excerpt from Kafka’s book on the shore we read:
“I put the cup of coffee on the table. A thin layer of cloud covers the sky and the birds are watching the change of weather. Eventually he notices me, he thinks, and he goes out the window, sits at the table, and drinks a cup of coffee. He motioned for me to sit in the chair the day before. I sit and look at him at the table drinking coffee. Does he even remember what happened last night? It can not be said. He looks as if he knows everything, and at the same time as if he knows nothing. I remember the scenes of that night. I’m not even sure it’s the same in front of me. “However, I was 100% sure at that time.”
The Metamorphosis is one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works, first published this year. Franz Kafka is an expressionist and surrealist writer, and his stories show a cohesive mix of irony, simplicity, illusion, and reality amidst a stormy and ghostly environment.
This short novel tells the sad and disturbing story of Gregor Samsa who wakes up one day and realizes that he has turned into a giant insect / vermin.
Instead of shouting or questioning his own intellect, Gregor’s first concern is his family. As the story progresses and from Gregor’s point of view, the reader learns more about his life, emphasizing his sacrifice to his family. His family is poor, and most of the money Gregor earns is spent on his father’s debts.
Gregor’s responsibility to the family and responsibility in general is one of the most important topics in this novel. When Gregor’s situation becomes clear to his family, their reaction is what the reader might expect; They screamed in fear and disgust, and Gregor returned sadly into the room.
It takes Gregor a while to get used to his new body, but in the end, like a big beetle, he enjoys crawling on walls and ceilings and hiding in dark places. A more difficult transformation takes place within him; Despite being mistreated by his family members, he tries hard to stay true to his humanity.
The story of the book Metamorphosis is told from Gregor’s point of view, and this makes the reader sympathize with him to a great extent. It is easier to understand him because we face the same obstacles and feelings in his new life at the same time. This demonstrates Kafka’s skills as a writer, and in particular his ability to build a tough character in a very challenging situation.
The unique book Metamorphosis is an example of surrealist literature and Gregor’s transformation into an insect, as a social interpretation of how individuals are valued in capitalist society. The heterogeneous reactions of Gregor Samsa, his family, and others to his astonishing transformation show that Kafka has created in this novel a dream world in which unusual and even absurd events seem insignificant to the main characters.
In a part of the book Metamorphosis, we read:
“The confidence and composure that was used in the first steps strengthened his heart. He felt he had re-entered human society and was a visionary with a doctor and a key maker. Without distinguishing between them, these events seemed like a glorious and marvelous work. In order to clear his voice for the next conversation, he coughed very slowly, because he was afraid that his cough would not sound like a human cough, and he did not dare to judge with his perceptive powers. “In the meantime, there was complete silence in the adjacent ruling room.”
The Trial is one of Franz Kafka’s most prominent novels, published a year after his death in 1925. The 1999 novel was selected by the French newspaper Le Monde as one of the top 100 novels of the twentieth century.
The word surreal is often used to describe situations in which Kafka’s characters find themselves, and the book Surreal Story Trial is considered strange, disturbing, and one of the most influential symbolic books of the twentieth century; One reason for this effect is to portray a person fighting against the judiciary and the modern state bureaucracy.
The Thoughtful Trial Book, about a banker and a single man named “Joseph Ka.” Is that he wakes up one morning in his house and finds that, for no apparent reason, he has been arrested by two unknown agents for a crime whose nature is never revealed to the reader and himself. He is summoned to a strange court and the legal process of his trial becomes more surreal. It is gradually becoming clear that many others are stuck in the same court; A court from which no one can escape.
The meaning of the novel stems from a study of Joseph K.’s character, a change in his attitudes and hopes. But the universal reality that ka. It is present, it is incomprehensible. Murray Krieger is one of the critics who stressed the importance of discovering a relationship between the banking world. He lives in it and refers to the world of the court.
Throughout the story of the trial book, a series of debates and events are told in which the protagonist tries to find answers to his questions about his system, law, and sin.
The main topics of the book are: individual rights in society, law and the judiciary, bureaucratic processes, trust, existence and political regimes, and the use of power. The sad story and allegorical style of this wonderful book have made it a valuable treasure for the human imagination.
In a part of the trial book, we read:
“The difference between them is that the apparent acquittal requires intermittent focused effort, while indefinite postponement requires much less effort, but means constant pressure. So, first let’s go to the apparent acquittal. If you decide to go it cheap, I’ll write about your innocence on a piece of paper. The text of such an oath came from my father and cannot be rejected. “Then, with this oath, I will go one by one to the judges I know, for example, I will start painting the judge I have, and I will paint his face when he comes tonight.”
“Aurelia” is the work of the most influential French surrealist author, Gerard de Nerval, first published in 1855. This romantic poet’s themes and preoccupations have a great influence on symbolists and surrealists, and fantasy has a special place in his life and works.
In this book, time is one of the main themes and times are so intertwined and integrated that the past, present and future can not be distinguished. This surrealist work is a poetic exploration of the vague boundaries of dream and reality.
Aurelia’s book tells the story of Nerval and his madness; A situation that is partly due to his failed love for an actress named Jenny Colon. In fact, he names the saints after himself and says in the text of the book about the reason for choosing this name: “A long time ago, I loved a woman whom I lost in my life and I will call her Aurelia”.
He does not mention Aurelia’s character in the whole story, and we will only find out throughout the story that he is madly in love and likes to spend the whole day in fantasies and thinking about his love.
In part of Aurelia’s book we read:
“Two of my friends and I were sitting around a roundtable talking about painting and music, and I was expressing my thoughts on the range of colors and the meaning of numbers. One of my friends, Powell, wanted to take me home, but I told him I had no plans to return. The next day I hurried to see my friends. “Honestly, I gave up trying to tell them the truth of what was on my mind, and instead I talked to them enthusiastically about magical things. My friends were surprised by what I said in detail.”