Kazuo Ishiguro's gentle transgression of tradition, myths and stereotypes: Towards a reading of the contemporary in The Remains of the Day

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Abstract

The present article aims to provide a reading of Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 Booker Prize-winning novel The Remains of the Day that focuses on the author's 'gentle transgression' of three local myths become international commodities: the myths of the English butler, the English country house and Englishness itself. It also examines how, in the process, the butler's identity becomes an increasingly heterogeneous one, a "transindividuality" (Bessière 2010) potentially representative of a sedentary or "rooted" (Appiah 1997) form of critical cosmopolitanism. Ishiguro thus responds to the challenges of globalization, suggesting that a constantly questioned to-and-fro movement between the local and the global, each in turn enriching the other, might prevent the much-feared homogenization of cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEnglish Text Construction
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Britishness
  • Contemporary literature
  • Cosmopolitan novel
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Remains of the Day

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