Nobel-prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro's novel tells the story of Mr Stevens, who in the summer of 1956 looks back on his life as a "perfect" butler in an English stately home. Stevens desperately tried to keep a lid on his emotions – turning a blind eye to his former employer's closeness to Nazi ideals between the wars, suppressing his feelings for housekeeper Miss Kenton. Ishiguro, though born in Nagasaki, grew up in England and brilliantly captures the voice of Stevens reflecting on his past. His masterly novel is poignant as well as funny, with pathos and satire well balanced. At the end of the course we shall watch the brilliant movie with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
Participants are requested to read parts of the text at home as preparation for the discussion in class.