THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Kazuo Ishiguro

THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Kazuo Ishiguro (hier online bestellen)

The story:
Ishiguro's work has been translated into 25 languages. The Remains of the Day became an international bestseller, with over a million copies sold in the English language alone, and was adapted into an award-winning film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Ishiguro now lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Stevens, the protagonist of the novel, has been given the rare opportunity to go on a tour of southwestern England in a Ford by his American master, the new proprietor of Darlington Hall, where he has served as a butler before to the famous Lord Darlington until the latter's death. While Stevens is touring the English countryside he recollects countless incidents and experiences all connected with his work as a butler at the manor house in Oxfordshire.
Stevens is a character who suppresses his own feelings and emotions in order to serve his masters, esp. the Lord of Darlington Hall, as perfectly as possible. He strives to be the personification of an English butler. Even when his father (also a butler) dies, does he feel more obliged by his duties as a butler than by those of a son. His main aim in life is to achieve 'dignity', which for him is foremost loyalty to his master whatever circumstances are. Even when the Lord is suspected to sympathize with the Nazis, would Stevens never dream of criticizing, let alone blaming him. Being as loyal as he is, he would not even think of a love affair or even marriage.
The setting of the story is England's 1920s and 1930s and allows the reader to gain a fantastic insight into the life of a country house, its owner and its butler and his staff. The novel is an allegory on Stevens' life as well as on the decline of the British Empire. I would also recommend the novel to be read in an advanced course (Leistungskurs) for its quality of the English language (neither slang nor obscene language). The technique of narration, the means of presentation, devices of the interior monologue, stream of consciousness or flashbacks can well be studied.

About the author:
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, on 8 November 1954. He arrived Britain in 1960 when his father began research as a natural scientist, and was educated at a grammar school for boys in Surrey. After doing several odd jobs he enrolled at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where he read English and Philosophy. He was also employed as a community worker in Glasgow (1976), and after graduating worked as a residential social worker in London. He studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, a member of the postgraduate course run by Malcolm Bradbury, where he met Angela Carter, who became an early mentor. He has been writing full-time since 1982. In 1983, shortly after the publication of his first novel, Kazuo Ishiguro was nominated by Granta magazine as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Writers'.

Extract from book:
Stevens, the butler, and Mr Graham on what qualities a 'real butler' should possess:
"...it does seem to me that the factor which distinguishes them (=great butlers) from those butlers who are merely exremely competent is most closely captured by this word dignity.
Of course, this merely begs the further question: of what is dignity comprised? And it was on this point that the likes of Mr Graham and I had some of our most interesting debates. Mr Graham would always take the view that this dignity was something like a woman's beauty and it was thus pointless to attempt to analyse it. I, on the other hand, held the opinion that to draw such a parallel tended to demaen the dignity of the likes of Mr Marshall. Moreover, my main objection to Mr Graham's analogy wa the implication that this dignity was something one possessed or did not by a fluke of nature; and if one did not self-evidently have it, it strive after it would be as futile as an ugly woman trying to make herself beautiful." .....

The Remains of the Day
Sprache: Englisch
Broschiert - 104 Seiten - Longman
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2000
ISBN: 0582342988
Preis: € 7,95

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More works from the same author:

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When we were Orphans
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An Artist of the
Floating World
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A Pale View of Hills
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The Unconsoled

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