Kazuo Ishiguro quotes

  • I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Love #Letting Go #Strong

  • She always wanted to believe in things.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Believe #Wanted

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Memories #Fading #Values

  • There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Inspirational #Might #Another Life

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Heart #Understanding #Honor

  • What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one's life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Sacrifice #Pride #Order

  • Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Memories #Remember #Realizing

  • As with a wound on one's own body, it is possible to develop an intimacy with the most disturbing of things
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Body #Intimacy #Wounds

  • There was a time you saw me once, one afternoon, in the dormitories. There was no one else around, and I was playing this tape, this music. I was sort of dancing with my eyes closed and you saw me.' '...yes, I remember that occasion. I still think about it from time to time.' 'That's funny, so do I.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Eye #Thinking #Dancing

  • But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one's past for such 'turning points', one is apt to start seeing them everywhere.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Past #Benefits #Hindsight

  • Everything might scatter. You might be right. I suppose it's something we can't easily get away from. People need to feel they belong. To a nation, to a race. Otherwise, who knows what might happen? This civilisation of ours, perhaps it'll just collapse. And everything scatter, as you put it.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Fear #Race #People

  • As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #People #Literature

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #People #Feelings #World

  • …It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of a world when one doubts its very validity….But I’ve long since lost all such doubts, Ono,’ he continued. ‘When I am an old man, when I look back over my life and see I have devoted it to the task of capturing the unique beauty of that world, I believe I will be well satisfied. And no man will make me believe I’ve wasted my time.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Believe #Unique #Men

  • Don’t you wonder sometimes, what might have happened if you tried?
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Might #Sometimes #Wonder

  • Because maybe, in a way, we didn't leave it behind nearly as much as we might once have thought. Because somewhere underneath, a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and no matter how much we despised ourselves for it--unable quite to let each other go.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Letting Go #Way #World

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Years #Long #Perspective

  • When you become a parent, or a teacher, you turn into a manager of this whole system. You become the person controlling the bubble of innocence around a child, regulating it.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Teacher #Children #Parent

  • We all live inside bodies that will deteriorate. But when you look at human beings, they're capable of very decent things: love, loyalty. When time is running out, they don't care about possessions or status. They want to put things right if they've done wrong.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Loyalty #Running #Body

  • Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns. But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Fate #Years #Long

  • I have the feeling of this completely alternative person I should have become. There was another life that I might have had, but I’m having this one.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Feelings #Alternatives #Might

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Song #Issues #Chance

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Book #Believe #Writing

  • I work very regular hours, roughly 9 to 5:30. I think I have it much easier than a lot of parents. I just sit at home, I have a very flexible timetable, and I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Home #Thinking #Lunch

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Life #Running #Sometimes

  • Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Heart #Moments #Should

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Moving #Sleep #Long

  • I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they'd once belonged to the sea.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Thinking #Sea #Gone

  • An artist's concern is to capture beauty wherever he finds it.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Artist #Capture #Concern

  • For a great many people, the evening is the most enjoyable part of the day. Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #People #Forever #Advice

  • You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple?
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Simple #Love Is #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Girl #Eye #Heart

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Air #Secret #Littles

  • It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Speed

  • When we lost something precious, and we'd looked and looked and still couldn't find it, then we didn't have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day, when we grow up, and we were free to travel around the counry, we would always go and find it in Norfolk...And that's why years and years later, that day Tommy and I found another copy of that lost tape of mine in a town on the Norfolk coast, we didn't just think it pretty funny; we both felt deep down some tug, some old wish to believe again in something that was once close to our hearts.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Heartbroken #Growing Up #Believe

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Thinking #Laughing #Age

  • Your life must now run the course that's been set for it.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Running

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Memories #Night #Childhood

  • It didn't hurt, did it? When I hit you?" "Sure. Fractured skull. Concussion, the lot..." "But seriously, Kath. No hard feelings, right? I'm awfully sorry. I honestly am.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Hurt #Sorry #Skulls

  • If I'm alone at home, I get increasingly restless, bothered by the idea that I'm missing some crucial encounter out there somewhere. But if I'm left by myself in someone else's place, I often find myself a nice sense of peace engulfing me. I love sinking into an unfamiliar sofa with whatever book happens to be lying nearby.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Lying #Nice #Book

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #People #Way #Problem

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Eye #Long #Childhood

  • 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.
    -- Kazuo Ishiguro

    #Art #Soul #Prove