An Artist of the Floating World

by Kazuo Ishiguro | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0679722661 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingmidwinterwing of Tucson, Arizona USA on 3/2/2006
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingmidwinterwing from Tucson, Arizona USA on Thursday, March 2, 2006
From Publishers Weekly
Like figures on a Japanese screen, the painter Masuji Ono and his daughters Setsuko and Noriko are fixed in the formal attitudes that even their private conversations reflect. In the postwar 1940, the father is a relic of traditional Japan, of teahouses, geishas and patterned gardens not yet destroyed by industry and Westernized thinking. He is unable to communicate with his daughters, unsure of the propriety of his wartime nationalism yet unwilling to exchange it for what seem to him doubtful modern values. His thoughts turn to the optimism of his student days, to uncertainties and disappointments that were mitigated by his sense of a prevailing order, now nowhere apparent. He cannot fathom why his daughters treat him with a disdain that approaches rudeness, why they imply that he and his kind were responsible for the war that killed so many sons, his own among them. And so, despite the rigidity of Ishiguro's prose which matches Ono's inflexibility the once famous artist gathers pathos as he moves through the pages of a novel that is both a reminder and a warning.

Journal Entry 2 by wingmidwinterwing at Tucson, Arizona USA on Monday, March 21, 2022
I was drawn to this story by the cover copy--an exploration of a Japanese man's life in the aftermath of WWII--but it felt like a story spinning its wheels and never really moving. I understand that this is a contemplative, slow-moving work, but the overwrought language and meandering trip down memory lane, while true to character, was not a joy to read. Things picked up a little in the third chapter when the artist's original sin was revealed, and fact that we're dealing with an unreliable narrator became clear. Everything clicked into place, and the book came into its own then, but it was a long, winding road to get there.

Journal Entry 3 by wingmidwinterwing at Tucson, Arizona USA on Sunday, November 27, 2022

Released 2 mos ago (11/28/2022 UTC) at Tucson, Arizona USA


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