” When we are scattered, afar and asunder,
Parted are those, who are singing today
When we look back, and forgetfully wonder,
What we were like, in our learning and play
Oh, the great days, will bring distance enchanted,
Days of fresh air in the rain, and the sun
How we rejoiced as we struggled, and panted,
Echoes of dreamland, Hailsham lives on. “
– Rachel Portman, Never Let Me Go OST.
The lines above were not written by Ishiguro, but they are exactly like his writing. Because Ishiguro’s writings about love aren’t complex, but so simple, they’re heart rending and they’re funny and they’re inexplicably tragic.
A post by a friend on Social Media prompted me to open all my Ishiguro’s and give them a read. And somewhere between ‘When we were orphans’ and ‘The Remains of the Day’, this post was born.
For the uninitiated (Oh, poor soul you’ve missed out on life itself!), Kazuo Ishiguro is a Japanese-British Novelist, the winner of the Booker Prize in 1989 and the author of seven wonderful books, some of which I’m going to talk about today. Two of his books have been made into excellent movies, The Remains of The Day, by the fabled Merchant-Ivory productions, and Never Let Me go, by Mark Romanek.
Ishiguro’s writing style is unique. Instead of consciousness awakening to the natual world and its immediacy and immutable nature. subjective memories and thoughts are opened, in a way, layer by layer to expose consciousness. His writings are like ramblings that try to fill the wide chasm of existential angst that has opened up in a being, like a sinkhole, sucking everything, even you, into the vortex.
Ishiguro’s Love is the most pristine, pure and beautiful ever written. Man is often destroyed by the ideas upon which he has built his life. Sometimes, I think we are so occupied by the “greatness” we wish to achieve, and this notion breeds deep resentments for anything that comes in the path, and it is the inarticulacy of emotions that destroy love.
Ishiguro writes the most nightmarish novels I’ve ever read. I read these books the same way as I wake from a disturbing dream with feelings of disorientation and anxiety. Ishiguro says that love has a proper time, a time that may be lost or missied, and then, the rest of our lives we’ll spend wondering. what could have been. That’s thought which is nightmarish and Ishiguro tells us this with simple sentences, from the words of Stevens, or Kathy H. Very few books can evoke the feeling of Despair. The kind of despair that makes you want t break things, or go out for a run so you can let out the agony bubbling inside you.
His books are about the near impossibility of our being understood by others and yet our endless desire for such understanding. His books are always written in the simplest of prose, but reading them isn’t easy. The beauty of his books is not in the plots, but in its execution.
I’m writing this post in the morning after having a vivid dream, which was very disturbing. It was my subconscious, watching me make all the wrong decisions I did, and all the mistakes I made and struggle helplessly, because the outcome of future events that would transpire were known. It never occurred to me that those people, with whom my life was interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If only I’d known, I’d have kept a tighter hold of them. Being in that dream was like being in an Ishiguro book. Descending down the flight of stairs where she told you, you weren’t the one, and resolutely walked ahead, her steps growing longer than yours till she was past the the horizon. Like those memories buried deep down, where people would sit on rooftops, hands together, their silhouettes drifting apart in dim light, and talk of there being the right time, the right place, the wait.
And then suddenly, when everything falls apart in front of you, you realize what Ishiguro’s Love is. This post is also a commentary to Meera & Vikram, two characters I frequently write about in different settings, two people, who are inexplicably, to their own misfortune, in Ishiguro’s love.
I’m very jobless these days, and this solitude I’ve grown to like. I like curling into a good book, and knowing I’ll have my daydreams, a cold breeze, and test cricket commentary for company.