Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Dr. Anthony Purdy


This thesis considers the everyday life practices portrayed in Murakarni Haruki’s short story collection The Elephant Vanishes and Wong Kar-wai’s two films Chungking Express and Fallen Angels. Doi Takeo’s theorization of amae, or the dependency drive, provides an explanatory framework for these practices. Arguing for the subversiveness of amae in these works, the thesis further explores the tactical nature of everyday “poaching” and, in the process, brings Doi in dialogue with Maurice Blanchot, Michel de Certeau and Marc Augé. Finally, drawing on the fundamental Unfulfillability of amae as the wish to be close to the mother’s womb, the focus shifts to the impossibility of home in the world of supermodernity. By interrogating these works as driven by the dynamics of a culture that exists alongside traditional conceptions of “Western” or “Asian” culture, the thesis attempts to address some of the criticisms these two artists have faced and to show that the imagined inviolable origin of a culture is dissolving



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.