20 February 2018
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  • » 10/06/2017, 13.10

    JAPAN – GREAT BRITAIN

    Nobel Prize for Literature to Kazuo Ishiguro, a bit Japanese, a bit British



    The author was born in Nagasaki in 1954 and then moved to Britain where he read English and philosophy and later studied creative writing. The Swedish Academy noted recurring themes in his novels: memory, time, and self-delusion. The Japanese press stressed his “Britishness”. The author defines himself as a “funny homogeneous mixture” of Japanese and British culture.

    Stockholm (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japanese-born British author, Kazuo Ishiguro, 62, won 2017the Nobel Prize for Literature. In its motivations, the Swedish Academy said in his “novels of great emotional force, [Ishiguro ] has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.

    His bio-bibliographic notes point out that the themes most associated with his work are “memory, time, and self-delusion”, especially his first books, set in Nagasaki shortly after the bomb.

    Ishiguro, who inked eight books as well as scripts for film and television, told the BBC after the award, that it was "a magnificent honour" and “flabbergastingly flattering”.

    “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 added.

    Born in Nagasaki in 1954, Ishiguro immigrated with his family to the United Kingdom when he was five years old after his father, an oceanographer, was invited to work at the British National Institute for Oceanography. He read English and philosophy at Kent University, then went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia. He returned to Japan only as an adult.

    In their news reports, Japanese papers strongly stressed the author’s “Britishness”. In a 1989 interview with BOMB Magazine, he was asked him how much he was Japanese and how much the British responded.

    “People are not two-thirds one thing and the remainder something else,” he said. “Temperament, personality, or outlook don’t divide quite like that. The bits don’t separate clearly. You end up a funny homogeneous mixture. This is something that will become more common in the latter part of the century—people with mixed cultural backgrounds, and mixed racial backgrounds. That’s the way the world is going.”

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