Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Ishiguro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ishiguro. Show all posts

24 October, 2011

Kazuo Ishiguro, "A Village After Dark"

Fletcher, an old intellectual, returns on foot to a village in which he lived long ago. We are never sure exactly what sort of leader he'd been, political, social, religious, etc. but Fletcher does make disparaging remarks about his comrade from before, David Maggis. I think the story is about idealism, aging, memory, and maybe even peoples' need for leaders. And, probably also about personal power and the need for individuals to take responsibility and not blindly believe the person you adore. One of the women in the run-down cottage says, "I've wanted to tell you for many years that you ruined my life."

I like how timeless the story is. It could be any century (except maybe for the "bus" reference LOL) and I like that no particular philosophies are delineated so that we can focus more on the idea of leadership, idealism and hope.

The sense of darkness and space was a strong sensation in this story as well as the poverty and simple lives of the people. When Fletcher wove his way through town, I felt the closed-in space and then when he came to the edge of a large space where they'd failed to follow the girl, the expansiveness was palpable as well.

To me the funniest, not ha ha funny but people are so shallow kind of funny, part of the story was how Fletcher continued to harp about David Maggis and that he was overrated by the villagers.  And, every time I read "Maggis," I thought about haggis and maggots.


The story is written in 1st person and was published in 2001 in The New Yorker. I'm happy to finally read something by Ishiguro as I don't usually read novels for which he is most known.

LINKS:
Wikipedia site
British Council site
NPR site, discussion about his novels
Slate site, discussion about his novels
YouTube video Ishiguro discussing Never Let Me Go, novel
New York Times articles
Ishiguro on Charlie Rose (2 audios) 1995 and 2000
link to The New Yorker, story, A Village After Dark