Saturday, March 07, 2015

Ogres in passing

Lorien Kite interviews Kazuo Ishiguro at the FT (site registration required):
“About 50 or 60 pages in, maybe slightly more, I thought, well, maybe I’ll show Lorna this,” says Ishiguro. “And she looked at it and said: ‘This is appalling — this won’t do.’ I said: ‘So what’s wrong with it? What should I change?’ She said: ‘You can’t change anything. You’ll just have to start again from scratch; completely from scratch.’”

Ishiguro couldn’t face the job of reconstruction immediately, turning instead to the short-story collection that would be published as Nocturnes in 2009. But when he did return to the Dark Ages, the approach was different. “The first time I had a go at this thing it was a bit like Sir Walter Scott, over-egged with a kind of period vernacular. The second time around I just tried to keep the language as simple as possible. I worked more at taking words from what you or I would say rather than adding things like ‘prithee’ — just by removing prepositions or the odd word here and there, I ended up with something that sounded slightly odd or slightly foreign.”

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