Writing fiction for the win, Kazuo Ishiguro is known as one of the greatest contemporary British authors (despite having been born in Japan, Nagasaki in 1954, his family moved to England in 1960.)
Ever since Ishiguro published his first novel, A Pale View of Hills, he became a literature prize darling: the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the Whitbread Prize and the Cheltenham Prize.
And this year, after publishing his latest novel, The Buried Giant, in 2015, Kazuo Ishiguro completed his collection with a Nobel Prize in Literature received from the Swedish Academy. The critics describe him as a writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world“.
Ishiguro is worthy of another prize from behalf of all of us, book lovers, in a sign of appreciation and respect for his work. Hence, here are 25 Kazuo Ishiguro quotes that go into the depths of the ugly truth and reveal the beauty within our lives.
Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.
Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it’s a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.
You have to accept that sometimes that’s how things happen in this world. People’s opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.
All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.
There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple?
She always wanted to believe in things.
The evening’s the best part of the day. You’ve done your day’s work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.
The problem, as I see it, is that you’ve been told and not told. You’ve been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.
Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?
If you are under the impression you have already perfected yourself, you will never rise to the heights you are no doubt capable of.
I can’t even say I made my own mistakes. Really – one has to ask oneself – what dignity is there in that?
You need to remember that. If you’re to have decent lives, you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you, every one of you.
After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?
We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.
A part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and-no matter how much we despised ourselves for it-unable quite to let each other go.
When you are young, there are many things which appear dull and lifeless. But as you get older, you will find these are the very things that are most important to you.
And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind of world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.
One is not struck by the truth until prompted quite accidentally by some external event.
It’s all right. I’m not upset. After all, they were just things. When you’ve lost your mother and your father, you can’t care so much about things, can you?
But God will know the slow tread of an old couple’s love for each other, and understand how black shadows make part of its whole.
When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favor of the war effort, he simply asked, ‘then what are we fighting for?’.
Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily colored by the circumstances in which one remembers.
How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly?
There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.