The Oasis Reporters
October 5, 2017
The Nobel Prize for Literature winner has been announced Thursday, October 5th, 2017 and it went to Kazuo Ishiguro.
Ishiguro, “in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”, the Academy wrote.
Who is Kazuo Ishiguro?
Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, he moved to England with his family when his father was offered a post as an oceanographer in Surrey
He read English and philosophy at the University of Kent after a gap year that included working as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral.
Studied an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where his tutors were Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.
His thesis became his critically acclaimed first novel, A Pale View of Hills, published in 1982.
In 1989, he won the Booker Prize for The Remains Of The Day.
Ishiguro has written eight books as well as scripts for film and television. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1989 for “The Remains of the Day”.
Born in Nagasaki, he moved to Britain with his family when he was five years old, only returning to visit Japan as an adult.
Both his first novel “A Pale View of Hills” from 1982 and the subsequent one, “An Artist of the Floating World” from 1986, about events that took place in Nagasaki a few years after World War II.
“The themes Ishiguro is most associated with are already present here: memory, time, and self-delusion,” the Academy said.
“This is particularly notable in his most renowned novel, ‘The Remains of the Day’,” which was turned into a film with Anthony Hopkins acting as the duty-obsessed butler Stevens.
With the critically-acclaimed dystopian work “Never Let Me Go”, published in 2005, Ishiguro introduced “a cold undercurrent” of science fiction into his work, the jury said.
Inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Marcel Proust, Ishiguro’s characters often painfully come to terms with who they are without closure.
His latest novel, “The Buried Giant” from 2015 explores “in a moving manner, how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality.”
In the book, an elderly couple go on a road trip through an archaic English landscape, hoping to reunite with their adult son, whom they have not seen for years.
Ishiguro was not among those tipped as a favourite for this year’s Nobel. His award marks a return to a more mainstream interpretation of literature after the 2016 prize went to American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.
The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
Ishiguro was made an OBE in 1995.
The 62-year-old writer said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering”.
He has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages.
He told the BBC, he hadn’t been contacted by the Nobel committee and wasn’t sure whether it was a hoax.
He said: “It’s a magnificent honour, mainly because it means that I’m in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that’s a terrific commendation.”
He said he hoped the Nobel Prize would be a force for good. “The world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel Prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment,” he said.
“I’ll be deeply moved if I could in some way be part of some sort of climate this year in contributing to some sort of positive atmosphere at a very uncertain time.”
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, described his writings as a “a little bit like a mix of Jane Austen, comedy of manners and Franz Kafka”.
She said Ishiguro was a writer of “great integrity”, adding: “He doesn’t look to the side. He’s developed an aesthetic universe all of his own.”
BBC, FRANCE 24 with AFP