Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 8, 2017

A call for more diversity, from Kasuo Ishiguro, Nobel Laureate, 2017

Photo credit: Frankie Fouganthin, Wikimedia Commons

In his Nobel Prize lecture (7/12/17) Kasuo Ishiguro made a number of interesting points, but what stands out to me is the following:

But let me finish by making an appeal – if you like, my Nobel appeal! It’s hard to put the whole world to rights, but let us at least think about how we can prepare our own small corner of it, this corner of ‘literature’, where we read, write, publish, recommend, denounce and give awards to books. If we are to play an important role in this uncertain future, if we are to get the best from the writers of today and tomorrow, I believe we must become more diverse. I mean this in two particular senses.

Firstly, we must widen our common literary world to include many more voices from beyond our comfort zones of the elite first world cultures. We must search more energetically to discover the gems from what remain today unknown literary cultures, whether the writers live in far away countries or within our own communities. Second: we must take great care not to set too narrowly or conservatively our definitions of what constitutes good literature. The next generation will come with all sorts of new, sometimes bewildering ways to tell important and wonderful stories. We must keep our minds open to them, especially regarding genre and form, so that we can nurture and celebrate the best of them. In a time of dangerously increasing division, we must listen. Good writing and good reading will break down barriers. We may even find a new idea, a great humane vision, around which to rally.

You can read the lecture in full on the Nobel website.

Update 16/12/17 And read this too: Kasuo Ishiguro’s Nobel Performance at the (always interesting) Inside Story.


Responses

  1. […] and as you can tell from my own review, I was very impressed.  At a time when Nobel Laureate Kasuo Ishiguro is calling for more diversity in literature, Michalia has woven a story about an important contemporary issue with a diverse cast of characters […]


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