Saving Civilization Through Stories With Kazuo Ishiguro

July 1, 2021 | 1

At the Washington Post, Kazuo Ishiguro discusses his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, with Mary Laura Philpott, and affirms the importance of literature and storytelling in society. “I’ve been saying for years, if you take away reading, take away literature, you take away something very, very important in the way we human beings communicate with each other,” Ishiguro says. “It’s not enough just to have knowledge of facts. We’ve got to somehow be able to communicate our feelings and our emotions. We’ve got to be able to tell each other what it feels like to be in different kinds of situations. Otherwise, we don’t know what to do with our knowledge. When we create stories for movies or just stories that we tell each other when we meet, this is something very, very fundamental. Take that away, some bad things are going to happen. We’re just going to end up profoundly lonely and not be able to function as a civilization.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

One comment:

  1. If literature could have saved civilization it would have done so at some point over the last 500 years. That’s not literature’s job, to “save” civilization. Its job is to reflect human consciousness. Anyone who says they’re going to save civilization through their stories is full of shit.

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