13 September 2012

remains of the day: surprising new perspectives

All I have to say on this rainy September evening is stolen from Remains of the Day.

I've been reading this over the last week—took it to Las Vegas with me, even, and if ever there was a place that called for a fastidious English butler {worried about propriety and dignity}, it is not Vegas.

But the restrained prose of Kazuo Ishiguro {I've been practicing saying his name} is like a whisper in an old stone church in Devon. He builds, in such quiet ways, to staccato shocks of emotion, not at all unlike someone in heels stepping into that church just when it was at its most hushed.

This is a beautiful book, one to read slowly, and one that fits with this time of autumnal change. Even the title makes you want to get a cup of tea and sit in an armchair toward the end of the day—and look out at the setting sun and sigh.

While on the plane back from Vegas—and thinking ahead to a trip next week to Quebec City, Quebec—I read this:
As I say, I have never in all these years thought of the matter in quite this way; but then it is perhaps in the nature of coming away on a trip such as this that one is prompted towards such surprising new perspectives on topics one imagined one had long ago thought through thoroughly.

And that is all I have to say today: that and I wish I were curled up in my armchair reading. I would devour Anne of Green Gables and Persuasion and The Lone Pilgrim and that would feel like I was "coming away on a trip."

Instead, though, I'll read Remains of the Day in bed at night and get on a plane next week away from the here and the known—and I'll see what I find on a little trip away.

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