An Artist of the Floating World


Kazuo Ishiguro

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The Smell of Burning

Although the novel’s narrator, Masuji Ono, never describes the grief and pain he has suffered over a lifetime punctuated by trauma, the way these traumas impact him is suggested by the melancholy feeling that…

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Lanterns in the novel are associated with Ono’s teacher Mori-san, who includes a lantern in each of his paintings and dedicates himself to trying to capture the look of lantern light. For Mori-san, the…

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Gardens represent an uncomplicated, beautiful collaboration between humans and nature that exists across historical moments and outside of ideology. Ono’s true connection (which he seems to have ignored out of his ambition) is with the…

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