February 1, 2010

An Artist of the Real World

"I looked at An Artist of the Floating World and thought, This is quite satisfactory in terms of exploring this theme about the wasted life in terms of career, but what about in your personal life? When you're young, you think everything is to do with your career. Eventually you realize that your career is only a part of it. And I was feeling that. I wanted to write the whole thing again. How do you waste your life careerwise, and how do you waste your life in the personal arena?"
--Kazuo Ishiguro, Paris Review interview

"I started to see parallels between memory and dream, the way you manipulate both according to your emotional needs at the time. The language of dreams would also allow me to write a story that people would read as a metaphorical tale as opposed to a comment on a particular society. Over some months I built up a folder full of notes, and eventually I felt ready to write a novel."
--Ishiguro, on the thought process behind The Unconsoled

I still remember the last line of that oh-so-frustrating novel: "The croissants looked particularly promising." It's nice to see the thought process that goes into a novel, from first inkling to completion. Anyone can build a folder of notes, but when do you feel ready to write a novel?

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