Ishiguro wins Literature Nobel for works of 'great emotional force'



STOCKHOLM, Lennart Simonsson and Ella Joyner (dpa) - British author Kazuo Ishiguro won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for works that uncover "the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."
The 62-year-old writer, best known for "Remains Of The Day" and "Never Let Me Go," had not featured in speculation ahead of the announcement.



He said the award was "flabbergastingly flattering," when contacted by the BBC.
His works often deal with questions of identity and memory, and how these can change according to historical circumstance.
Ishiguro was conferred the honour because "in novels of great emotional force, [he] has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world," the Swedish Academy said.
He told the BBC after the announcement in Stockholm: "It's a magnificent honour, mainly because it means that I'm in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that's a terrific commendation."
"The world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment," he told the BBC. "I'll be deeply moved if I could in some way be part of some sort of climate this year in contributing to some sort of positive atmosphere at a very uncertain time."
Ishiguro could be compared to a "cross between Jane Austen and Franz Kafka," said the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius.
"This is a deeply original author," she said, adding he has "developed a universe all of his own."
"He is someone who is very interested in understanding the past, but he's not a Proustian writer," Danius told the official Nobel Prize website. "He's not out to redeem the past, he's exploring what you have to forget in order to survive in the first place as an individual or as a society."
Ishiguro was born on November 8, 1954, in Nagasaki, Japan. His family moved to Britain when he was 5 years old, and he only returned to Japan as an adult.
His first book, "A Pale View of Hills" was published in 1982 and the novel that followed, "An Artist of the Floating World" (1986) take place in Nagasaki a few years after World War II.
His latest novel, "The Buried Giant," was published in 2015.
Apart from eight books, Ishiguro has also written short stories as well as scripts for film and television.
He won the Man Booker Prize in 1989 for his best-known novel "The Remains of the Day," which was released as a film in 1993 with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
"The Remains of the Day" was "a true masterpiece where he mixes comedy of manners," Danius said. "It starts out as a PG Wodehouse novel and ends as something Kafkaesque I would say."
She described all his books as "really truly exquisite."
The academy said that Ishiguro's "writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place."
The Swedish Academy this year considered about 195 proposals, which were pared down to a list of five before the summer recess.
The proposals - as well as decisions and motivations - are kept under seal for 50 years. The academy does not publish the short list, either.
Last year, US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan received the literature prize. Dylan did not publicly acknowledge the award for several days, and did not attend the December 10 ceremony, citing prior engagements. He received his medal and diploma in April.
Danius told dpa that Ishiguro had informed her that he planned to attend the December award ceremony.
"Many congratulations to my old friend Ish, whose work I've loved and admired ever since I first read 'A Pale View of Hills'," Ishiguro's friend, author Salman Rushdie, told the Guardian.
"And he plays the guitar and writes songs, too! Roll over Bob Dylan," Rushdie added.
The Nobel Prize in Literature was the fourth of the annual honours awarded this week, following prizes in the fields of medicine or physiology, physics and chemistry.
The Nobel Prize for Peace announcement is due on Friday, while the economics award is set for next week.
With the exception of economics, the prizes were endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-96), the inventor of dynamite.
This year, the prizes are each worth 9 million kronor (1.1 million dollars). The awards are presented every year on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
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Thursday, October 5th 2017
Lennart Simonsson and Ella Joyner
           


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