Kazuo Ishiguro

1956 - 0

Booker Prize winner for Remains of the Day 1988 (film, 1993)

K. Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan but in 1960 his family emigrated to Britain where he attended University of Kent in East Anglia where he studied creative writing. He also studied philosophy and literature at the University of Canterbury. He spoke at home in Japanese and at school in English. His novels are read as "Japanese" in England , and "English" in Japan. Ishiguro is mainly interested in depths of characters' consciousness and their realisation of responsibility for one's deeds and actions. Characters' memory is the key for their understanding. They perform auto analysis in search for the connection between the past and the present. They are at the same time narrators of the stories making constant comments to their actions and in this way discovering hidden emotions and meanings. The character's self is undefined. The past and present are concurrent.

His first novel A Pale View of Hills has a typical time structure, the past and present are happening concurrently. The novel touches the issue of character's responsibility for his/her actions and actions of the others. This problem is also present in his second novel An Artist of the Floating World. There is no objective point of view. The author poses the question whether good intentions are enough for the evil actions happening as a result of them. Or, shall we taken into consideration only actions and on their basis evaluate one's self. His best well known novel Remains of the Day is again first-person narrative, the reminiscence of an elderly English butler whose mask of formality does not allow him for showing understating and human emotions. The result is protagonist's emptiness and solitude at the end of the day. The next novel The Unconsoled is Ishiguro's longest novel. It is a story of frustration and inability to fulfil one's dreams. The narrative is a description of 3 days on 530 pages with various characters' mini monologues on their life and disappointments. The novel is a book of what has not happened. The Unconsoled is a novel with unidentified space and time with unknown streets, parks and people. It is a world of spiritual and emotional emptiness.



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