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Friday, August 12, 2005

Put Down That Book, Young Man, And Take Up Football Instead

During the course of lunch with Jason Urquhart of The Financial Times, Kazuo Ishiguro says:

"Don’t you think football is as valid as fiction? Football can really move people, with very complex feelings. Certainly at the emotional level people are being transported, and taken through enormous and quite profound emotions, which often mirror the frustrations and triumphs that people feel in their own lives. If you combine that with the sense of experiencing this en masse with a group of like-minded, like-feeling people, you’d say that if any novel could do that, you’d think that it was a masterpiece.”

"So football is more valid than fiction?" asks Jason, sneakily.

"Yes...” he hesitates.

Having got that out of the way, Ishiguro goes on to talk of his next novel:

“I want to write about a society where something has happened to people’s memories, so that everybody is mildly myopic. What is the relationship between the way in which an individual suppresses the past and the way a society does? When is it healthy, and when is it not healthy? I don’t think there are easy answers to these things. South Africa is a very interesting example of trying to balance truth and reconciliation without pushing all the things that happened under the carpet, because that could store up a sense of injustice. But on the other hand, they realised that you can’t obsessively dwell on the past.”

Then, he dwells on his yet-to-be-realised ambition:

”I want to collaborate with someone who can make CDs but who is pretty desperate and washed up in his career. It has to be very English, and singer-songwriterish; perhaps a slightly less effete Nick Drake - but who is still alive.”


  • i think vivekananda said something similar: enough of temples, go play football, or something like that. wonderful advice.

    By Blogger uma, at 10:20 PM  

  • Reminds me of an old essay by Umberto Eco on sports chatter which says the exact opposite. He says something to the effect of how all sports activity is 'waste' and sports chatter(viewing) is a glorification of that Waste! Should go look it up.

    By Blogger Veena, at 10:36 PM  

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