Literatures of resistance under U.S. “cultural siege”: Kazuo Ishiguro’s narratives of occupation

Peter Sloane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Through close readings of An Artist of the Floating World and The Remains of the Day, supported by references to his other works, this article argues that Japanese-British writer Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels betray an understated but distinct anti-American sentiment. Much has been made of the narcissism of Ishiguro’s narrators and their attempts to manipulate historical and personal records to serve their own purposes. However, one of those purposes that have gone undetected is a willful political resistance to the postwar Americanization of Japan and Europe. In other words, the article argues that the novels discussed are, in fact, works of propaganda and, further, that they evidence, with a high degree of subtlety and linguistic sophistication, Ishiguro’s own concerns that world literature and world culture more broadly were, as a result of World War II, subsumed into the American model, becoming homogenized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalCritique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Volume59
Issue number2
Early online date27 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • anti-Americanism
  • cultural siege
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • literatures of resistance
  • World War II

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