The Remains of the Day – A literary treasure
It’s been almost seven months that I am posting something new on my blog site .I was not being lazy .My professional duties kept me away. In the process , reading took a back seat .But in my hearts of heart , I knew something was amiss.
I have never had a chance to read Kazuo Ishiguro before and it was my loss .He is this year’s Nobel Prize Winner for literature .He is of Japanese descent based in the UK .I had mostly confined myself to the books written by Indian authors who were writing in English Language . But once I read his book , I realized I what I was missing out .I have ordered some of his books online and along the line I hope to share them with you .
Lately my blogs have been about books written by authors of critical acclaim .I neither have the capacity nor intention to review those books .But when I read something worthwhile ,I feel more people with similar interests should experience the same inner bliss.
History always attracts me and in the book “The Remains of the Day ” the backdrop is of the period of during the World Wars .We get to read a lot of literature of those times as European Continent was undergoing upheavals and newer equations were being visualized between the countries of the Continent .UK was one of the key players in the Wars which changed the path of the history .
The Story teller of this book is an English Butler , Stevens, who is an older gentleman who is currently being employed by an American Master .Stevens embodies all the qualities of a true gentleman and a perfect butler .In the past , he was employed by a British Lord , Lord Darlington . Lord Darlington had a significant political influence in his country and had association with great political figures of the time . Their abode was called Darlington Hall and they held meetings of great importance there . He had a staff under him to manage the household and the great events that took place there .He took great pride in his profession and would continually try to excel himself . He would also follow the Hand book of the great butlers to be the best of the best
Stevens never allowed himself any other privileges in life . His only aim in his life was to be of complete assistance to his Lord and in the process there could be his small contribution in shaping the history of his country and the World .His dedication was so complete that anything that proved a hindrance was never allowed by him to happen .
As his ailing father lays in the death bed in the same house ,he did not deem it appropriate to be at his bedside as it would have caused inconvenience to his Lord and his great mission .A house keeper who worked under him and both of them were interested in each other but he never encouraged her or himself to go forward on that path .
But there is no force in this world that can stop the changing times .Darlington Hall changed hands and he gets his employment with the new Master . His American master is very generous and offers him his car and gas money to take a break and visit the country side which he had never done before .There is another interest as he would be meeting the same house keeper at the end of the journey .
Author takes us on this journey as Steven introspects about his life revisits his convictions .What seemed right and true in his younger days did not seem now. His perfect life had some big voids that was impossible to fill now .
Author is brilliant in his art form and has used very simple English .We get a glimpse of the Britain’s country side and the rural life of those days . The higher standard that people held themselves accountable to in those days are getting rarer and rarer day by day .Author reiterates that as we approach our twilight years we realize that loved ones are the most treasured possessions of our life and they should be chased with the same intensity as other goals of life .
It’s a book which will be in your memory forever and I am looking forward to reading and sharing other books by the same author .
Happy Holidays .