Reading Circle 15: ‚An Artist of the Floating World‘ by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

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Reading Circle
  • 2018_03_06_reading_circle
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Linda, Maria, Sonja, Sandra and Andrew discuss the novel.
World War 2 is over and Japan sets about rebuilding its shattered cities. Masujo Ono, an ageing painter, looks back over his life and assesses his career, which coincided with the rise of Japanese militarism.
We discuss the author (the current Nobel Prizewinner for Literature)and his background, how time is handled in the novel, the various meanings of the  ‚floating world‘, and generational relationships.
To what extent is the artist representative of much of Japanese society before and after WW2?
Has Ono’s life been wasted? Or was he fundamentally misguided?
Does he come to terms with his past, or does he repress any guilt he might have?
In how far is the novel a ‚Japanese‘ novel? Here we quote Ishiguro himself.
We also discuss whether the narrator is ‚unrealiable‘ and the fluid, ‚floating‘ style. Does the style and ambivalent tension reflect shifting values?

 

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