Kenzaburō Ōe, The Silent Cry (Man'en gannen no futtobōru): The Game of Sacred Violence between Myth, Logos and History in the Japanese Cultural Matrix

Studies of mythology and the philosophy of religions ascribe violence an important role in understanding traditional societies. Whether perceived as sacred and capable of renewing the world, or as oppressive and destructive, violence acquires a twofold valence, whose constituents are interpreted in a complementary relation of interdependence and entail a world outlook with profound implications. Retrieving this ambiguous dimension of religious violence, Kenzaburō Ōe’s novel imagines, against the historical background of post-war Japanese society, a game that enacts the eternal rivalry between two brothers. Lest the history of this seemingly lost present should fall prey to political abuse, the Japanese writer proposes a return to myth, without, however, idealising it; instead, myth is revalorised and tradition is re-conceived from the vantage point of rationalism, with full and alert awareness of the dangers inherent in an ideology that is imposed by force and aggression. Kenzaburō Ōe’s novel is a lucid meditation on Japan’s modern and contemporary history
Keywords religious violence, myth, logos, history, violence, Japanese Cultural Matrix, Kenzaburō Ōe
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L'Etre et le Néant.J. Sartre - 1946 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 1 (1):75-78.

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