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Friday, April 29, 2016

On Kazoo Ishiguro's novel 'The Remains of The Day'

I read Kazoo Ishiguro's novel 'The Remains of The Day' few years ago. It is an unforgettable story of the highly-dignified and efficient English butler, Stevens, who has blind faith in the political opinions of the politically powerful English Lord, Lord Darlington, in whose mansion he works. Towards the end of the novel, Stevens is engaged in ruminating about the many mistakes that he has made in his life, and it dawns on him that his most glaring mistakes were not the outcome of his own decisions, rather they were the result of the thoughts and decisions of Lord Darlington, whose political ideas have failed completely.

The moral of this story is that you must always use your own mind, or you end up like Stevens. The Remains of The Day is a great story. Here is a quote from the book:

"How can one possibly be held to blame in any sense because, say, the passage of time has shown that Lord Darlington's efforts were misguided, even foolish? Throughout the years I served him, it was he and he alone who weighed up evidence and judged it best to proceed in the way he did, while I simply confined myself, quite properly, to affairs within my own professional realm. And as far as I am concerned, I carried out my duties to the best of my abilities, indeed to a standard which many may consider 'first-rate.' It is hardly my fault is his lordship's life and work have turned out today to look, at best, a sad waste-and it is quite illogical that I should feel any regret or shame on my own account."

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