My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs by Kazuo Ishiguro

My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs

Delivered in Stockholm on 7 December 2017, My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs is the lecture of the Nobel Laureate in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro. A generous and hugely insightful biographical sketch, it explores his relationship with Japan, reflections on his own novels and an insight into some of his inspirations, from the worlds of writing, music and film. Ending with a rallying call for the ongoing importance of literat...


Details My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs

TitleMy Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs
ISBN9780571346554
Author
Release DateDec 8th, 2017
PublisherFaber & Faber
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Language, Short Stories
Rating

Reviews My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2018-03-22
    Ishiguro has written some great novels, though I really don’t think he deserved to win the Noble Prize for Literature last year.There are so many other writers who have, objectively speaking, contributed more to the arts. Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami and even Neil Gaiman stand out as immediate examples to my mind. They have just done so much more for literature in general with their creativity and innovative writing styles. ...
  • Sam Quixote
    2018-02-07
    My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs is Kazuo Ishiguro’s speech from when he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. It takes the form of a truncated career retrospective/autobiography, touching upon the creation of his more well-known books like The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.The lecture, in the author’s usual style, is eloquent and understated but not especially powerful, moving or thought-provokin...
  • Ammar
    2017-12-22
    In this lecture that was delivered on December 7th, 2017. Kazuo Ishiguro delivers a personal lecture about literature, his beginning as a novelist, the creative writing class he took in East Anglia, and how it made him the writer he is today. He describes the England that he moved to with his parents when he was 5 years old. How very different it is from today. And how the community accepted them even though he was the only Japanese in his school...
  • Pantelis
    2018-02-22
    A reliable narrator, after all...
  • Kate
    2018-02-14
    3.5/5This is Kazuo Ishiguro’s acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize in literature. It discusses his growth as a writer, inspiration for his work, thoughts on the world’s current condition, and hopes for the future.
  • Radwa
    2018-01-18
    Such an inspiring little read!I was so proud when I heard of Ishiguro's Nobel win, not just because he was the first Nobel winner I've actually read prior to his win, but because I was actually rooting for him, and this speech reminded me why! It's a biographical lecture about his beginnings as a writer, how music had a big impact on his writing (among other things), and the progress he's undergone as a writer. I loved hearing about "his" Japan, ...
  • Akylina
    2017-12-31
    "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. [...] Second: we must take great care not to set too narrowly or conservatively our definitions of wha...
  • John
    2017-12-19
    MY FAVOURITE PART IN THE LECTURE "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 a...
  • Patty
    2018-01-27
    I had picked up a little hardcover, just like this one, of the Lecture by last years Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan. When I saw this one for the winner of the Prize for 2017 I knew I had to read it. Kazuo Ishiguro wrote eight books of fiction and I have only read three but know that his writing is special. The Swedish Academy gave this as their reasoning for giving the prize to Ishiguro: "...who, in novels of great emotional force, has unco...
  • Annikky
    2018-01-09
    4.5 Beautiful and insightful, very much recommended. A side note: I have only read one of Ishiguro's books - The Remains of the Day - and was surprised how similar the voice here was to that novel (where it's more extreme, of course).
  • Zulekha Saqib
    2018-01-11
    '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...
  • Andrew
    2018-02-13
    Like a short story in itself, Ishiguro relates how he came to write - with teachers like Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, what a start! - how he came to adopt a style and theme - reminiscence and memory, distinct or unreliable - and the importance of striving for a new level of tone and meaning - the wonderful depiction of the beautiful relationships central to Never Let Me Go [2005] - that brought him to the Nobel lectern.I enjoyed this so mu...
  • Freddy
    2017-12-29
    “Stories can entertain, sometimes teach, or argue a point, but for me, the essential thing is that they communicate feelings— that they appeal to what we share as human beings across our borders and divides. . . . In the end, stories are about one person saying to another, ‘This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?’”
  • Aňa
    2017-12-19
    An insightful lecture from a great voice of the scene, a truly 'international' literary voice (in the sense used by him in the lecture - his writing transcends any closed cultural context). The speech feels just like Mr Ishiguro's photos after the prize was announced - very intelligent and at the same time very humble. Makes some interesting points on how 'quiet, private sparks of revelation' come to a writer (or any person, for that matter). Def...
  • Marwan Hamed
    2018-02-05
    Inspiration
  • Joe
    2018-06-09
    The author speaks On Writing, and regarding the world generally, and his world in particular.
  • Andreea Marin
    2018-01-17
    I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not read any of Kazuo Ishiguro’s fiction (yet) because I wasn’t sure what is the essence of his writing, and what I should expect; at first I mistakenly believed he wrote only romance novels. I needed to hear Kazuo Ishiguro first. I took this morning to listen and read along in this book My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs: The Nobel Lecture and my goals of the year just changed to...
  • Michael
    2018-01-14
    Edifying and beautifully told autobiographical reflections. And an urgent call to action to the next generation of authors, grounded in the author's own growth as a writer. That growth, we learn, came through a set of epiphanies - inspired by the work of other artists. Which in turn gives this lecture a positive, uplifting forward momentum. Because life is about intersects: it is the relationship between things; and the relationships between peop...
  • Matthew Holley
    2018-01-11
    A wonderful reflection on the genesis of his writing career and how it’s changed and matured over the years. It could’ve been twice as long and I would’ve eaten it up.
  • Ryan Roberts
    2018-01-01
    Ishiguro's Nobel lecture is a quick read, but it's filled with wonderful insights into his writing process and career.
  • tomwrote
    2018-01-01
    I was given this as a thoughtful gift and appropriately it is a thoughtful lecture from an intelligent and humane writer. There are insights into Ishiguro's writing life but also a look at the larger purpose of literature in society.
  • Rita Ciresi
    2017-12-31
    Heartfelt and unpretentious, this lecture provides insight into Ishiguro's growth as a writer.
  • Jason Wilson
    2017-12-26
    Ishiguro’s Nobel lecture . Great to see it won by someone readable . Pleasant talk from a varied journey since early childhood in Nagasaki .
  • Dana
    2017-12-20
    Encouraging and inspiring.
  • The Bookaholic
    2018-02-16
    I'll have to carry on and do the best I can. Because I still believe that literature is important, and will be particularly so as we cross this difficult terrain. But I'll be looking to the writers from the younger generations to inspire and lead us. This is their era, and they will have the knowledge and instinct about it that I will lack. In the worlds of books, cinema, TV and theatre I see today adventurous, exciting talents: women and men in ...
  • Rob
    2018-05-10
    This slim tome is essentially the lecture given by Kazuo Ishiguro on receving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017. In it he lays out some key moments of his development as a writer. These include accepting his ancestral and more-or-less fictional image of his could-have-been-homeland of Japan as his source for material, his acceptance of a freer Proustian thought association, finding inspiration in a Tom Waits song to drive the pivotal scene o...
  • Mark
    2018-01-24
    Stories can entertain, sometimes teach or argue a point. But for me the essential thing is that they communicate feelings. That they appeal to what we share as human beings across our borders and divides. There are large glamorous industries around stories; the book industry, the movie industry, the television industry, the theatre industry. But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you un...
  • Monika
    2018-02-27
    I loved this so much that I read it twice in a row. I've always wondered what went on in the minds of authors and this little gem provided a glimpse into the thoughts of one of my favourites. In his refreshing style he delivers a lecture that is as much of a lesson as it is a story. He has once again challenged me to think a little harder and to have a little more faith in the people of the world. I'm so glad that I stumbled upon his little corne...
  • M Pereira
    2018-04-17
    I'm not familiar with Ishiguro, except that where I work publishes a few words of him from time to time. This nobel prize speech is a tome on the ideas of Englishness or any kind of national-ness that we might identify with. We have an idea of the old country and it warps with time and becomes ever more unrealistic and distant, but becomes a fondness of ou rmind.The take home message really comes at the end of the speech/book. I really should exp...
  • Taylor Davis
    2018-05-22
    I read this in Paris while waiting for a train to Strasbourg. Somehow that seems fitting. A short, insightful speech about the author's history, while still looking toward the younger generations to help guide us through the future. I enjoyed this immensely.