Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ishiguro's Klara Is Apparently No Fiction

I have a habit of acquiring, through purchase or library borrowing, more books than I will read. My curious approach to reading is to try to read a little of each one. Afterwards, I have three stacks: must read, hope to read, most likely not finish. Books in the latter stack is that are library books will be returned. If they are books in my possession, they will be shelved. 

Which brings us to Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the SunKazuo Ishiguro is unquestionably one of the great novelists of our time. At this moment Klara and the Sun is in my Must Read stack. Having. book like Klara in that stack is forcing me to finish two other books there so I can dig into it. 

In the Ken Burns documentary on Ernest Hemingway this past year, Hemingway is quoted as saying that writers who win a Nobel Prize never produce anything great again. Ishiguro is proving Hemingway wrong. 

Ishiguro's stories are beautifully crafted and each an original. He paints such vivid characters and scenes and always leaves you feeling something and engaged in reflection. For example, in Never Let Me Go the story is told by a character who is nearing her life's end and discovering how many different ways what she experienced was misunderstood while living it earlier. This led me to reconsider many events in my own life and the ways I failed to see what was really happening.

WHAT PROMPTED this excursion into Ishiguro's writings was an article I came across this week about robots being created to serve as assistants for health care providers. Their mission, among other things, is to brighten people's lives. They can also do "talk therapy."

For the past 30 years I've held the opinion that by the time Baby Boomers are in nursing homes, there would be renewed opening of our borders to immigration in order to have more workers available to attend to our needs. (i.e. empty bedpans, keep us company, etc.) It never entered my mind that robots might be created for this purpose one day. 

The article is a photo gallery with a bit of description as regards what you are seeing. It's titled, Meet Grace, the healthcare robot COVID-19 created.

Having been introduced to Klara, the AI narrator of Ishiguro's novel, I can hardly wait to hear the rest of her story. 

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Related Links

See my reviews of two other Ishiguro novels I've read in the past couple years.
The Buried Giant
The Unconsoled

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