The most gen­tle­manly of writ­ers – No­bel lau­re­ate Kazuo Ishiguro

Last year’s prize went to Dy­lan, this year it went to his big­gest fan

The Guardian - Review - - Front Page - Se­bas­tian Barry

Kazuo Ishiguro has won the No­bel prize. His fel­low writ­ers, his read­ers, his friends, his col­leagues and trans­la­tors all over the world, will have sat up straighter sud­denly with an ex­cla­ma­tion of sim­ple joy at the news. With the death of Sea­mus Heaney you had the gnaw­ing sense that the heart had gone out of the writ­ing world. Sea­mus was a ra­di­ant and ex­traor­di­nary soul, and you can ap­ply ex­actly the same words to the great Ishiguro.

How clever and as­tute are the No­bel prize com­mit­tee. Hav­ing given the

prize last year to Bob Dy­lan, they have given this year’s prize to Dy­lan’s big­gest fan. Joseph Con­rad bus­ied him­self with writ­ing seven or eight mas­ter­pieces in a row; Ishiguro has done ex­actly the same. Are we al­lowed to say that he, like Sea­mus, is one of the most truly gen­tle­manly writ­ers in the his­tory of the lit­er­ary world, the most agree­able, the most sto­ried, the most kind? Per­haps none of that should mat­ter – but it does, some­how. Be­tween ge­nius and gen­tle­ness he has taken his mea­sure of the world, and is him­self a mea­sure of the best that hu­mankind can be. How de­light­ful that the No­bel has alighted in his gar­den.

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