Kazuo Ishiguro [(The Remains of the Day)] [Author: Kazuo Ishiguro] published on (April, 1999)


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Inhaltsangabe zu „[(The Remains of the Day)] [Author: Kazuo Ishiguro] published on (April, 1999)“ von Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day An elderly butler is on a five-day motoring trip through the West Country in the 1950s. The climax of his journey is to be a reunion with his former housekeeper. This 1989 Booker Prize-winner attempts to capture a period in British history and draw a portrait of a man in old age. Full description

Wie traurig, berührend und wunderschön geschrieben. Ein wehmütiger Blick in eine vergangene Zeit ...

— Ellen-Dunne

Einblick in urbritische Tugenden. Ein auf- und anregendes Buch über die eigene Persönlichkeit, Würde und Loyalität.

— MrsFraser
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  • What is dignity?

    [(The Remains of the Day)] [Author: Kazuo Ishiguro] published on (April, 1999)


    28. April 2017 um 23:02

    Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker prize-winner from 1998 is the tale of Mr Stevens, the (first name-less) butler of Darlington Hall. Having (for the first time in his life) some days to himself, in 1956 he undertakes a journey through the english countryside to visit a former housekeeper of Darlington Hall whom he wants to ask to come back. During his journey he tries to explain to the reader (or rather himself), what a 'perfect' butler is supposed to be and ponders whether he got anywhere near this ideal.  'Dignity' is the central word for Stevens. A butler has to have a certain dignity. But what is dignity and lies it only in the actions of the butler himself or are his surroundings, is his employer also contributing to a butler's degree of dignity? Since Steven's former employer, Lord Darlington, whom he respected most highly, lost all authority and grace after WWII, this is a tricky question for Stevens and he works hard to argument with himself. His argumentation is also hard work for the reader. The first perspective narrative allows us inside the thinking world of a person who only ever lived to please his employer. Who is used to defend other people's views and keep his own thoughts to himself. And who is fiercely striving to do this in perfection. It is hard to make out what Stevens really thinks HIMSELF. Does he even have own opinions? Guardian writer Peter Beech called 'The remains of the day' "probably quite an English book". It is really tiring to keep up with a character who fails to express any emotion throughout decades and who is captured in restricted class-thinking. This are two properties which might be typically english, but if this is a positive or a negative depiction of english characters, I cannot say. In the beginning I found it really annoying, but reading on I saw some irony in Ishiguro's depiction, although I am not sure this was intended. At least it lightened up my reading to see it that way. Ishiguro's work tackles many, many great questions of moral, society, ethic and politics and it is probably a great pinch to have a narrator who cannot communicate his own opinions openly because therefore the reader is forced to make up his own. Worth reading, but be prepared to feel frustrated with what is described and how. A book that moves you, certainly.

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