KAZUO ISHIGURO’S, “REMAINS OF THE DAY.”

“The Remains Of The Day,” by Kazuo Ishiguro is in my humble opinion a GREAT Novel. In fact, I will go so far as to say it is a MASTERPIECE.

A former professor of mine, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Louis Simpson was fond of saying, “That Hemingway is a thinking man’s writer. If you simply read his words and don’t think beyond that, you will never appreciate the true greatness of Hemingway.” After hearing him say this I went back and re-read Hemingway’s, “The Sun Also Rises.” The first time I read it, I thought it was a good novel. The second time I read it, I came away thinking it was a masterpiece. Since then, it is the book that I have read the most times…possibly as many as ten times.

The same Mr. Simpson was also fond of saying, “That the size of a novel does not determine its greatness, and that a great short short or poem is easily as intellectually stimulating as any novel.”

Mr. Ishiguro’s novel about an English butler and his three decades of service in the mansion of Lord Darlington, pre- World War II and a few years after the war, meets all the criteria that Mr. Simpson was fond of repeating. It is barely two hundred pages, the writing is clear and simple, and the questions it poses are many and intellectually challenging such as, “When is blind duty to one’s job morally wrong? Are wars, such as World War II, often decided by a few powerful men and should they be held accountable for the terrible consequences of such wars? Is family secondary to country?
Is a democratic form of government in the best interests of all its citizens? Should every man and women, despite their level of intellectual, be given the right to vote? What does the word ‘dignity,’ really mean?”

Mr. Ishiguro won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature a few years back, and after reading a number of his books I can honestly and without a doubt say he deserved the Prize.

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