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ID 45942
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title alternative
Indirectness in the Narratives of Kazuo Ishiguro: The effects of “blank/gap” and “mise en abyme”
creator
Nagara, Hiromi
NDC
English and American literature
abstract
In Kazuo Ishiguro’s works, there is a rich and meaningful “blank” or “gap” between “what is told” and “what is conveyed,” which gives birth to ambiguity or indirectness in his narratives. In this essay, which overviews several works by Ishiguro from his early period up to his more recent years, I analyze the function of this “blank/gap” in each work and clarify how its characteristics have changed over time. In particular, I pay attention to the development in his works from the “not told and told” method, seen typically in his earlier works heightening the effect of déjà vu, to his more recent method centered on “told and not told” that appears as a key phrase in one of his recent novels, Never Let Me Go. I also point out and build up an argument to demonstrate that this development is related to the foregrounding of a kind of “mise en abyme” (nested structure) of the narrative in which “narrators” also function as “narratees/readers”. The protagonists and 1st-person narrators in Ishiguro’s novels have two kinds of function at the same time: they function 1) as “narrators” who tell their own stories, deliberately hiding some important information, through which readers try to understand the hidden truth of the stories, and also 2) as “narratees/readers” who try to cope with vague external information and struggle to search for hidden meanings. I conclude that the second function has become more prominent in Ishiguro’s recent works, and that this shift has greatly increased the ambiguity and indirectness of his narratives. The “blank/gap” or “mise en abyme” techniques peculiar to Ishiguro’s narratives create “very powerful vacuums” which attract readers’ attention. Paradoxically, this works as a vehicle in which Ishiguro conveys his unwritten messages to his readers’ minds.
description
本稿は,日本英文学会中国四国支部 第69回大会 シンポジアム「Kazuo Ishiguro 再考-さらなる解釈の可能性を求めて-」(2016年10月30日 愛媛大学)において,「“not told and told”か“told and not told” へ-「語られること」と「伝わること」の間-」と題して発表した内容をもとに執筆したものである。
journal title
Hiroshima studies in English language and literature
volume
Volume 62
start page
59
end page
71
date of issued
2018-03-30
publisher
広島大学英文学会
issn
0288-2876
ncid
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
rights
著作権は、執筆者本人と広島大学英文学会に帰属する
department
Graduate School of Letters
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