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In An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro offers readers of the English language an authentic look at postwar Japan, "a floating world" of changing cultural behaviors, shifting societal patterns and troubling questions. Ishiguro, who was born in Nagasaki in 1954 but moved to England in 1960, writes the story of Masuji Ono, a bohemian artist and purveyor of the night life who became a propagandist for Japanese imperialism during the war. But the war is over. Japan lost, Ono's wife and son have been killed, and many young people blame the imperialists for leading the country to disaster. What's left for Ono? Ishiguro's treatment of this story earned a 1986 Whitbread Prize. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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 prosewhich matches Ono's inflexibilitythe once famous artist gathers pathos as he moves through the pages of a novel that is both a reminder and a warning. Ishiguro wote A Pale View of Hills.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
this is essentially the same story as remains of the day, told in the same style. it predates the more famous novel, however, so perhaps that's why i would have to say rotd is the... Read morePublished on May 9 2002
the key word is reserved as i think everyone else pointed out, but it made no impression on me. i think as short book in this style of writing is supposed to leave traces that... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2001 by R. madigan
Ishiguro is a master at impregnating ordinary situations with tension. He does that in this book as well, but ultimately, there wasn't very much to be tense about. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2000 by D. C. Chase
Ishiguro is a master of subtlety and subdued emotions. His leading characters seem to wear a Japanese Noh mask to conceal deep-rooted trauma. Read morePublished on June 13 2000 by lazza
Like any good novel, there's many different levels for the reader to consider. From a societal point of view, Ishiguro does a wonderful job illuminating Japan's tendency to hide... Read morePublished on March 5 2000
This is better than Remains of the Day, only it isn't about a butler, and won't get made into a Merchant/Ivory film anytime soon. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2000 by MUSHFEQ A KHAN
Kazuo Ishiguro's "An Artist Of The Floating World" is a beautifully written piece of work dedicated to the perenniel question of the role of an artist in society. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 1999
No author seems able to say so much about humanity through means as fascinatingly indirect as Ishiguro's. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 1999