I realised, of course, that other people used these roads; but that night, it seemed to me these dark byways of the country existed just for the likes of us, while the big glittering motorways with their huge signs and super cafes were for everyone else.
We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.
I really appreciated having the tape-and that song-back again. Even then, it was mainly a nostalgia thing, and today, if I happen to get the tape out and look at it, it brings back memories of that afternoon in Norfolk every bit as much as it does our Hailsham days.
What he wanted was not just to hear about Hailsham, but to remember Hailsham, just like it had been his own childhood. He knew he was close to completing and so that's what he was doing: getting me to describe things to him, so they'd really sink in, so that maybe during those sleepless nights, with the drugs and the paint and the exhaustion, the line would blur between what were my memories and what were his.
I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.
Why should they be grateful? They came here looking for something much more. What we gave them, all the years, all the fighting we did on their behalf, what do they know of that? They think it was God-given. Until they came here, they knew nothing of it. All they feel now is disappointment, because we haven't given them everything possible.
I suppose it had something to do with it being a secret, just how much it had meant to me. Maybe all of us at Hailsham had little secrets like that--little private nooks created out of thin air where we could go off alone with our fears and longings. But the very fact that we had such needs would have felt wrong to us at the time--like somehow we were letting the side down.
You have to accept that sometimes that's how things happen in this world. People's opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.
I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they'd once belonged to the sea.
You need to remember that. If you're to have decent lives, you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you, every one of you.
If you were a boy and a girl and you were in love with each other, really, properly in love, and if you could show it, then the people who run Hailsham, they sorted it out for you. They sorted it out so you could have a few years together before you began your donations.
Your life must now run the course that's been set for it.
In fact, the harder he tried, the more laughable his efforts turned out.
You're always in a rush, or else you're too exhausted to have a proper conversation. Soon enough, the long hours, the traveling, the broken sleep have all crept into your being and become part of you, so everyone can see it, in your posture, your gaze, the way you move and talk.
It was like there was some parallel universe we all vanished off to where we had all this sex.
As I say, I have never in all these years thought of the matter in quite this way; but then it is perhaps in the nature of coming away on a trip such as this that one is prompted towards such surprising new perspectives on topics one imagined one had long ago thought throughly.
And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind of world, one that she new in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleasing, never to let her go.
It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you've made, and there's this panic because you don't know yet the scale of disaster you've left yourself open to.
I do not think I responded immediately, for it took me a moment or two to fully digest these words of Miss Kenton. Moreover, as you might appreciate, their implications were such as to provoke a certain degree of sorrow within me. Indeed- why should I not admit it? - at that moment, my heart was breaking.
And if these incidents now seem full of significance and all of a piece, it's probably because I'm looking at them in the light of what came later...
Looking back now, it's funny to think we got so worked up, because usually the Sales were a big disappointment....But the point was, I suppose, we'd all of us in the past found something at a Sale, something that had become special...and so however much we tried to pretend otherwise, we couldn't ever shake off the old feelings of hope and excitement.
Indeed - why should I not admit it? - in that moment, my heart was breaking.
And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us from being swept away into the night.
Maybe all of us at Hailsam had little secrets like that -- little private nooks created out of thin air where we could go off alone without fears and longing.
The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.
And what made these heart-to-hearts possible--you might even say what made the whole friendship possible during that time--was this understanding we had that anything we told each other during these moments would be treated with careful respect: that we'd honor confidences, and that no matter how much we rowed, we wouldn't use against each other anything we'd talked about during those sessions.
Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don't go along with that. The memories I value most, I don't ever see them fading.
What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint.
Even at the time, I realised this couldn't be right, that this interpretation didn't fit with the rest of the lyrics. But that wasn't an issue with me. The song was about what I said, and I used to listen to it again and again, on my own, whenever I got the chance.
Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?
I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, and maybe even call.
She always wanted to believe in things.
I needed to get familiar with sex, and it would be just as well to practise first with a boy I didn't care about too much. Then later on, if I was with someone special, I'd have more chance of doing everything right.
Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.
I quizzed him a lot on this point and i suspect the truth was that it was like a lot of things at that age: you don't have any clear reason, you just do it. You do it because you think it might get a laugh, or because you want to see if it'll cause a stir. And when you're asked to explain afterwards, it doesn't seem to make any sense.
The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.
I work very regular hours, roughly 9 to 530. I think I have it much easier than a lot of parents. I just sit at home.
The book was at a reasonably high position on the New York Times... before I was in the country. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if my presence here would push it up or down.
I do feel part of that generation of people who were rather idealistic in the '70s and became disillusioned in the '80s. Not just about social services issues, but the world.
There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
When I got to 40 or so... I had the sense when I looked back over my life I would actually see a mess of decisions, a few of which I had thought about, some of which I had sort of stumbled on, and many that I had no control over whatsoever.
There are things I am more interested in than the clone thing. How are they trying to find their place in the world and make sense of their lives? To what extent can they transcend their fate? As time starts to run out, what are the things that really matter?
I still have a suspicion of charity and think the state has a role to play in many areas. And although for most of the years since I have been a rather privileged writer, I identify more closely than perhaps I should with those social workers. Had I not become a writer that would have been me.
I went through my purple-prose phase in my songwriting... I was really writing between the lines. And that was what I took into my fiction. That was my apprenticeship, really.
I felt slightly superior to student politics, for instance. I had no reason to think this, but I thought of myself as slightly more seasoned. I became quite cynical talking to my student friends.
I want my words to survive translation. I know when I write a book now I will have to go and spend three days being intensely interrogated by journalists in Denmark or wherever. That fact, I believe, informs the way I write-with those Danish journalists leaning over my shoulder.
Screenplays I didn't really care about, journalism, travel books, getting my writer friends to write about their dreams or something. I just determined to write the books I had to write.
Unless you have a real sense of precious things under threat, there would be nothing sad about time being limited.
I think the judging process is full of integrity, compared to some other prizes around the world. The fact that they change the panel of judges every year keeps it from becoming corrupt. I think it's very difficult if you've got judges for life obviously relationships are cultivated between judges and authors, and publishing houses.
I used to think when I was in my teens I was very different from my father, but now I see that what we do is probably quite similar.
More Kazuo Ishiguro Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - People - Books - Writing - Memory - Time - Sense & Perception - Facts - Night - Movies - Thought & Thinking - Emotions - Opinions - Disappointment - Work & Career - Parents - Home - Mind - Countries - View All Kazuo Ishiguro Quotations
More Kazuo Ishiguro Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Never Let Me Go
- The Remains of the Day
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