Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Two novels by Ishiguro
And the detective of When We Were Orphans writes from inside his own fantasies. He's convinced that his parents, who were abducted in Shanghai when he was young, are still being held captive twenty years later. They're clearly not, but he plays out the detective game until it breaks. He's stuck as a ten year old - the entire profession of 'detecting' is a way of delaying adult reality and responsibilty. The language is a lot posher, more adapted to the boring London society. It's rare for a writer to almost completely change their style from book to book. Ishiguro chooses a voice and goes with it, keeping himself in the background. It's not an easy thing to do. But if there's a link between the two, it's that both see childhood as formative and inescapable. It completely makes up who these characters are. Only now it's become a collection of memories that they have to decipher one by one. It has become a story that they have to tell themselves. In other words, it's a big pile of literary stuff that Ishiguro can write pages and pages about and still leave things untold. That's enough for now, but I might read more one day.