By Kazuo Ishiguro, Vintage, July 14, 2010, 9780307961443

I read this eleven years ago. I remember it as an engaging novel. Since reading it, Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature so I don’t need to since the praises of this book, which was once of his best novels.

Today (10/24/2021), I just finished The Murderbot Diaries. The similarity in the language issues are striking. The Murderbot is confused about human language, just as the character, Stevens does in the Remains of the Day. Having lived in a foreign country myself, I can relate.

[k191] Embarrassing as those moments were for me, I would not wish to imply that I in any way blame Mr Farraday, who is in no sense an unkind person; he was, I am sure, merely enjoying the sort of bantering which in the United States, no doubt, is a sign of a good, friendly understanding between employer and employee, indulged in as a kind of affectionate sport.

[k212] It is quite possible, then, that my employer fully expects me to respond to his bantering in a like manner, and considers my failure to do so a form of negligence. This is, as I say, a matter which has given me much concern. But I must say this business of bantering is not a duty I feel I can ever discharge with enthusiasm. It is all very well, in these changing times, to adapt one’s work to take in duties not traditionally within one’s realm; but bantering is of another dimension altogether. For one thing, how would one know for sure that at any given moment a response of the bantering sort is truly what is expected? One need hardly dwell on the catastrophic possibility of uttering a bantering remark only to discover it wholly inappropriate.