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Un artist al lumii trecătoare

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  7,655 ratings  ·  598 reviews
Aflat la virsta senectutii, pictorul si profesorul de arta Ono Matsuji porneste intr-o odisee de recuperare a biografiei personale si artistice, silit de schimbarile radicale dintr-o Japonie abia iesita din ruinele celui de-al doilea razboi mondial care incearca sa-si exorcizeze trecutul militarist si sa-si construiasca un alt fel de viitor. Rind pe rind pictor manufacturi ...more
Paperback, http://www.polirom.ro/catalog/carte/un-artist-al-lumii-trecatoare-1836/, 288 pages
Published 2005 by Polirom (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Jul 02, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Booker Shortlist; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2010)
I thought Kazuo Ishiguro was not one of the authors who do not rewrite themselves. This book proved me wrong. He is like many other authors who write at least two novels with similar plot, themes and even characters. They just change some aspects of the novel like settings, climax or maybe the names of the places and people. I was disappointed but the disappointment was not enough for me to give this 1 star because the book still has all those Ishiguro's trademarks that made me fall in love with ...more
selena
After reading Never Let Me Go, I swore that I would read more of Ishiguro's work. It was fate that I ran across An Artist of the Floating World at my Library. The novel isn't a particularly long one - coming in at a mere 206 pages. It was a breeze to get through.

I'm noticing that with Ishiguro's narrators so far, the tone is very conversational. Throughout this book, the protagonist Masuji Ono, a retired artist, speaks intimately to the reader

Throughout the book, Masuji Ono, the protagonist, spe
...more
Whitaker
Aug 17, 2009 Whitaker rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who finds this review meaningful...
In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!
William
Second reading. The gist of this novel is the narrator's culpability for his patriotic actions during the war with the U.S. Set in a suburb of Tokyo during the American occupation, the narrator, Masuji Ono, is now surrounded by those who blame him and those like him for Japan's disastrous gamble on war. Ono's generation was that of the old men cheerleading for war. And there can be no question about his complicity. In his youth he trained as an artist of the demimonde or "floating world," but tu ...more
Samadrita
If you've already read The Remains of the Day, chances are your enjoyment of An Artist of the Floating World will be greatly curtailed. And that is the sheer tragedy of this book.

Replace Stevens with Masuji Ono. Replace a tottering England with a war-ravaged, financially unstable Japan and insert Ishiguro's penchant for allegory. And TADA you have An Artist of the Floating World.

This book had potential to be a very emotionally charged commentary on a nation rebuilding itself from its charred (at
...more
Praj
Each time my eyelids bowed down to the devil of grave drowsiness, the concave depths displayed a lean, modest shadowy figure standing on the Bridge of Hesitation; the wrinkles on his forehead becoming deeper , trembling with culpability, wishing for Noriko’s miai to be an incessant success. The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow">Jerome K Jerome was accurate with his analysis of the solitude of an idle mind bringing generous thoughts. There I was, nursing an acute bronchial cough cursing the fat ...more
matt
Steady, measured, gentle, sure-handed, slightly seductive.

Ishiguro's narrator is fooling himself for sure throughout his tale, but you almost believe him.

Some wonderfully graceful pacing, with the situations and pages melting into one another, which as one reviewer here remarked, makes a "floating world" all its own.

It sort of reminds me of the thing said about Flaubert's "Sentimental Education"- the main theme is largely heard in the background. For Flaubert it was revolutionary upheaval in mid
...more
AC
What a rich and marvelous novel. And what emotional depth Ishiguro displays.... I not only thoroughly enjoyed this book, I admired it. Highly recommended
Evan Leach
Written between Ishiguro’s first novel (A Pale View of Hills) and his most famous (The Remains of the Day), An Artist of the Floating World borrows elements from both. The setting of postwar Japan is the same one featured in his first book, while the story and style are strongly reminiscent of The Remains of the Day (in a sense, this is an adaptation of The Remains of the Day from the master’s perspective). The finished product lies somewhere between Hills and Remains of the Day , but given tha ...more
Jim
A well-written story of an aging Japanese artist who looks back on his career and his role in the "patriotic" movement toward imperialism and war. He struggles to understand the changing Japanese culture, the shunting aside of the older generation that is distrusted by pro-American factions, the attitudes of his two daughters and grandson, and his own faulty memories. There are wonderful insights into post-war Japan, the role of loyalty, the struggles between teacher and pupil. He is egotistical ...more
J.
His influence over us was not, of course, confined merely to the realms of painting. We lived throughout those years almost entirely in accordance with his values and lifestyle, and this entailed spending much time exploring the city's 'floating world' -- the night-time world of pleasure, entertainment and drink which formed the backdrop for all our paintings. I always feel a certain nostalgia now in recalling the city centre as it was in those days; the streets were not so filled with the noise ...more
Lobstergirl
Sep 04, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amy Pinto-Walsh
Shelves: fiction

With this my reading of Ishiguro's canon is complete. So he'd better be working on something new.

The novel is set in postwar Japan. The first person narrator, Mr. Ono, is a retired artist reflecting back on his career and life. He is widowed, and his son was killed in a minefield in Manchuria. He has two adult daughters and one grandson. As he explains his daughter Noriko's attempts to find a husband, we are first led to believe that her lack of success is simply a result of unfortunate timing;
...more
Seth Hahne
This is, so far, my second-favourite Ishiguro book. Even if it wasn't, as advertised, a novel.

An Artist of the Floating World is the fifth of Kazuo Ishiguro's works I've read. I've been gradually working my way through since last year. I only have A Pale View of the Hills and Remains of the Day Left. I'm saving Remains of the Day for last—as it's the one that bought him all the acclaim. I'm almost certain to be disappointed, I guess. I'd almost have to be.

But that's neither here nor there becaus
...more
Aubrey
I finished this book on a very blue note. The narrator has a great amount of emotion built up that he refuses to acknowledge, and keeps a 'stiff upper lip'; acting almost normal despite the fact the world he once knew and loved has been completely eradicated by the war and those adapting to the aftermath. Even worse is he sees himself as being at fault for the destruction, although truthfully, as an artist he couldn't have had that much impact on Japan's decisions concerning the war. (view spoil ...more
umberto
This was the first novel, by Kazuo Ishiguro, that I finished reading due to its seemingly familiar title. From its 206 pages, I think, most readers should find reading it quite manageable as guaranteed by its Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 1986. Reading it, as for me, was relatively enjoyable since I needed concentration in following various episodes and its key protagonist named Masuji Ono, the eminent painter, during his retiring years in the midst of his family, neighbours ...more
Karol
I know very little about post-WWII Japan, and all that I knew came from the perspective of Americans. It was fascinating, therefore, to read this story from a Japanese author who was born in the post-war era. It is about an artist who gained a measure of respect and renown while working as a loyal supporter of the Japanese emperor. After the war, he struggles with the changes in Japanese society as well as his loss of esteem in society - particularly among the younger generation who tended to bl ...more
Isabelle
I am finding it somewhat difficult to talk about this novel, and I am not sure why... The plot is not that complex, the novel is modest in length, the language and style are limpid... So what is it?
It has got to be the intricacies and subtleties of the main character we only get to know a very little at a time, while he pieces together fragments of his past for us, almost reluctantly.
Of course, the difficulty is compounded by our meager Western understanding of Japan's imperialist bid on Asia cu
...more
Arne
Great story, but even better writer. His stories are seamless and he really gets at character development, but in a way that you don't think you're reading fiction, it seems completely natural and real...in terms of writing, he's fantastic.
Kerry
Ishiguro is the master of creating an unreliable narrator. I noticed this in his novel “When We Were Orphans” as well - There are slight discrepancies in what the main character tells us and how he interprets the events surrounding him. Ishiguro has a delicate method of making the reader aware of these small problems and contradictions without constantly beating us over the head. It’s all a matter of nuance, not power.

This narrative viewpoint is part of what makes this novel so striking. The sto
...more
David
Ishiguro's artist of the floating world discusses with his grandson the life of a composer of popular wartime marches:

"'He wasn't a bad man. He was just someone who worked very hard doing what he thought was for the best. But you see, Ichiro, when the war ended, things were very different. The songs Mr Naguchi composed had become very famous, not just in this city, but all over Japan. They were sung on the radio and in bars. And the likes of your Uncle Kenji sang them when they were marching or
...more
Rebecca
I read this book in a rush just this afternoon, I loved it. And now I'm going to try and say what I thought of it before I cheat and read other reviews! There might be some mild spoilers but as little actually happens they can't be too bad.

Basically, the main character Ono was a very talented and famous artist who painted pictures promoting (and possibly was involved with planning & carrying out) the changes in Japan before WW2... and now he's dealing with the guilt. Lots of other people wh
...more
Monique

Original post here.

The last time I read an Ishiguro was in April of last year - his Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall , which I thoroughly enjoyed. After that, I had been meaning to read this book as a follow-up, but despite having it included in several months' worth of reading lists (carried over from one on to the next), I finally gave up attempting to pick it up and focused on other authors and/or books in the meantime. The inspiration to read Ishiguro again will come sooner or
...more
Rea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Regina Lindsey
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
3 Stars

Set three years at the conclusion of WWII between 1948-1950, Masuji Ono is involved in a second series of marriage negotiations for his youngest daughter after a failed attempt a year prior. As tension mounts over its success, Ono begins to reflect on his activities as a propaganda artist during the war and his early career.

This book had everything I should have loved - WWII history, art, Japan - but I didn't. I liked it, but didn't love it
...more
Darcy
An Artist of the Floating World makes no pretension at being exciting. It is elegant; an elegy of a man’s lost identity, profession, and country. I appreciated the unique ideas found in this story. I can quite honestly say that I have never considered what it would be like for an artist is post-war Japan who once supported Japan’s march to Imperialism.

This novel should be read slowly and with great care, as there are many serious implications in Masuji’s polite and gentle narrative. How can a m
...more
Hinch
A wonderfully warm and subtle novel, An Artist of The Floating World explores the changing nature of society in post-war Japan, drawing on themes including the role of art, the evolving status of men and women, and the rising prevalence of western values. The story is told through the eyes of a retired painter, Masuji Ono, who during the war years, was responsible for the creation of patriotic posters supporting the imperialistic aspirations of the empire.

As with several of Ishiguro's novels, th
...more
Chenthil
This is my second Ishiguro book after "Remains of The Day". Ishiguro's strength is that he lets the narrator talk directly to the reader, the writer doesn't come in between. The novel can be loosely termed as recollections of an artist in post war Japan. The painter Masuji Ono struggles to come to terms with the new Japan that shuns his kind of people (who pushed the imperialistic agenda of Japan that led to its ruin). His daughters & son in law subtly tell him that his ideology was somethin ...more
Zorena
An Artist of the Floating World

I've finally added Kazuo Ishiguro as a favourite author. I feel I should have when I read Never Let Me Go but I have yet to finish the book review for that one. So why am I writing this one first? I think it's because the other effected in a way I couldn't quite describe but this book feels more comfortable. The more I read of Ishiguro, the more I fall in love with his form of the written word.

I'm really not so sure this book is about post war Japan as it is about
...more
Vasha7
A fine novel. The first book I've read by Ishiguro, and now I know what the fuss is about.

The most notable thing about it is the subtlety of the telling. For one thing, even though a major part of its subject matter is the brutal military dictatorship of Imperial Japan, Ishiguro doesn't sensationalize, in fact he understates. With a single exception, every scene represents people strolling in a garden, at dinner, in a teahouse, etc. -- talking. (In fact, the narrator Ono was very sheltered, it s
...more
julieta
I find myself currently obsessed with the post war theme. What people are before a war, and what they are after the war. How in a matter of a short time in months or years, they are a different person. Also a city becomes an unrecognizable place. Someone who was a teacher, is now hated by his ex pupil. Cities that used to be something are completely changed. Everything is different, everything is sadder. A war is never something that creates something, it destroys, it changes but not in a positi ...more
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Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄) is a British novelist of Japanese origin. His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from University of Kent in 1978 and his Master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.
His first novel, A Pale View of Hills won the 1982 Winifred Holtby
...more
More about Kazuo Ishiguro...
Never Let Me Go The Remains of the Day When We Were Orphans A Pale View of Hills Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

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“When you are young, there are many things which appear dull and lifeless. But as you get older, you will find these are the very things that are most important to you.” 16 likes
“There is certainly a satisfaction and dignity to be gained in coming to terms with the mistakes one has made in the course of one’s life” 13 likes
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