Authors from Around the Globe: Kazuo Ishiguro

When we hear world literature, the first thing which appears on our mind is the diversity of languages and culture and history inscribed on the pieces’ text and context. Taking this note aside, world literature is not entirely focused on showing a variety of languages; it also shows the unity of every nationality by producing authors who, although not an English-speaker by blood, can write using the worldly prescribed tongue. An example of these authors is Mr. Kazuo Ishiguro, Japanese by blood, who fell in love with the wonders of Britain.

Ishiguro , born November 8, 1954 at Nagasaki, Japan, moved with his father, an oceanographer, mother and two sisters to Guildford, Surrey to easen his father’s travel to his workplace. Who would’ve thought that a Japanese dad would go a long way for work! It was 1960 when they moved.

He had been given the opportunity to study at the prestigious University of Kent, Canterbury, 1974, and graduated with honors in English and Philosophy. He continued studying for more years at the University of East Anglia, where he met Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, whom I think you might very well know! There he finished his Master’s degree on creative writing.

The Japanese-born author contributed to the literary society with novels which are set in the past and in the far future, some of which are in alternate dimensions. A notable quality found in his numerous works is the combination of Sci-fi and futuristic tones and themes, although set in a time bracket supposedly far from the story’s setting, which are mostly of English origins or real places themselves.

With his style, the way he allows his characters to exhibit their own failings and weaknesses are simply beautiful. During the narrative, this technique of Ishiguro can be seen; characters may show their flaws as human beings. This intact, most of his works are in first person narrative. Failure and uncertainty line his characters, and this is what makes his creations more realistic, more indulging.

His repertoire of works include The Unconsoled, seemingly a tale about a semi-amnesiac pianist, An Artist of the Floating World, which focuses on an aging painter reminiscing the past, and The Remains of the Day, winner of the Man Booker Prize.



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1 Response

  1. Puckerman. says:

    I didn’t know you read Ishiguro too.
    And here I thought I was the only Ishiguro reader in YWS.
    I think of Ishiguro ( Along with Murakami, hope you’ve heard of him too) more as a descendent of Kafka. I’ve read most of his works and am not far from being an Ishiguro Completest.
    However, I don’t think his numerous works have “Sci-fi” and “futuristic” tones and themes. That was just in “Never Let Me Go”.
    Of course, there are recurring themes in his prose. Take for instance, all his stories are told in flashbacks. Ishiguro had explained this choice by famously saying: What one remembers happening is far more interesting than what really happened.
    Another recurring tone is his trademark “unreliable character.”
    I found that highly original. Because the feeling you get when you understand that you cannot believe everything the narrator says is profoundly annoying ( in a good way) and, also, showcases the post-modern experimentation of Identity and Memory.

    I had written a review on, “the Remains of the day” last year and I remember I had finished with a line that I really thought was cool and provided readers with a more clear perspective of his works.
    I’m going to end this comment on your awesome article with that line.
    Quoting me then,

    “Like most of Ishiguro’s work, the purpose or the precise nature of the thing in context goes astray and the problem in the end stays as a problem but within it giving us an unforgettable lesson of lost loves and lost causes. Mr. Ishiguro succeeds in presenting us hope through failure.”

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