THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Kazuo Ishiguro (hier online bestellen)
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
Broschiert - 104 Seiten - Longman
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2000
Preis: € 7,95
If you want to buy this book second hand
very good condition - (faber&faber, paperback),
send me an eMail
The price of it is € 5 incl. postage.
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