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Кадзуо Исигуро - Остаток дня / The Remains of the Day

Остаток дня / The Remains of the Day

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Остаток дня / The Remains of the Day
Кадзуо Исигуро


Современная проза, Языкознание

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Кадзуо Исигуро – урожденный японец, выпускник литературного курса Малькольма Брэдбери, написавший самый английский роман конца XX века! Лауреат Нобелевской премии 2017 года.
«Остаток дня» – дневник дворецкого, жизнь с точки зрения Бэрримора. В основе его стилистики лежит сдержанность, выявляющая себя в самой механике речи. Герой не считает возможным проявлять свои чувства, и на лингвистическом уровне эта своеобразная аскеза приводит к замечательным результатам – перед нами этакая оборотная сторона Достоевского с его неуправляемым потоком эмоций.
В 1989 году за «Остаток дня» Исигуро единогласно получил Букера (и это было, пожалуй, единственное решение Букеровского комитета за всю историю премии, ни у кого не вызвавшее протеста). Одноименная экранизация Джеймса Айвори с Энтони Хопкинсом в главной роли пользовалась большим успехом.
А Борис Акунин написал своего рода римейк «Остатка дня» – роман «Коронация».

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brought us here and made possible this present spirit of unity and goodwill, there is, I believe, an imperative to openly condemn any who come here to abuse the hospitality of the host, and to spend his energies solely in trying to sow discontent and suspicion. Such persons are not only socially repugnant, in the climate of our present day they are extremely dangerous.’

He paused again and once more there was utter stillness. M. Dupont went on in a calm, deliberate voice:

‘My only question concerning Mr Lewis is this. To what extent does his abominable behaviour exemplify the attitude of the present American administration? Ladies and gentlemen, let me myself hazard a guess as to the answer, for such a gentleman capable of the levels of deceit he has displayed over these past days should not be relied upon to provide a truthful reply. So, I will hazard my guess. Of course, America is concerned about our debt payments to her in the event of a freeze in German reparations. But I have over the last six months had occasion to discuss this very matter with a number of very highly placed Americans, and it seems to me that thinking in that country is much more far-sighted than that represented by their countryman here. All those of us who care for the future well-being of Europe will take comfort from the fact that Mr Lewis is now – how shall we put it? – hardly the influence he once was. Perhaps you think me unduly harsh to express these things so openly. But the reality is, ladies and gentlemen, I am being merciful. You see, I refrain from outlining just what this gentleman has been saying to me – about you all. And with a most clumsy technique, the audacity and crudeness of which I could hardly believe. But enough of condemnations. It is time for us to thank. Join me then, please, ladies and gentlemen, in raising your glasses to Lord Darlington.’

M. Dupont had not once looked over in Mr Lewis’s direction during the course of this speech, and indeed, once the company had toasted his lordship and were seated again, all those present seemed to be studiously avoiding looking towards the American gentleman. An uneasy silence reigned for a moment, and then finally Mr Lewis rose to his feet. He was smiling pleasantly in his customary manner.

‘Well, since everyone’s giving speeches, I may as well take a turn,’ he said, and it was at once apparent from his voice that he had had a good deal to drink. ‘I don’t have anything to say to the nonsense our French friend has been uttering. I just dismiss that sort of talk. I’ve had people try to put one over on me many times, and let me tell you, gentlemen, few people succeed. Few people succeed.’ Mr Lewis came to a halt and for a moment seemed at a loss as to how he should go on. Eventually he smiled again and said: ‘As I say, I’m not going to waste my time on our French friend over there. But as it happens, I do have something to say. Now we’re all being so frank, I’ll be frank too. You gentlemen here, forgive me, but you are just a bunch of naïve dreamers. And if you didn’t insist on meddling in large affairs that affect the globe, you would actually be charming. Let’s take our good host here. What is he? He is a gentleman. No one here, I trust, would care to disagree. A classic English gentleman. Decent, honest, well-meaning. But his lordship here is an amateur.’ He paused at the word and looked around the table. ‘He is an amateur and international affairs today are no longer for gentlemen amateurs. The sooner you here in Europe realize that the better. All you decent, well-meaning gentlemen, let me ask you, have you any idea what sort of place the world is becoming all around you? The days when you could act out of your noble instincts are over. Except of course, you here in Europe don’t yet seem to know it. Gentlemen like our good host still believe it’s their business to meddle in matters they don’t understand. So much hog-wash has been spoken here these past two days. Well-meaning, naïve hog-wash. You here in Europe need professionals to run your affairs. If you don’t realize that soon you’re headed for disaster. A toast, gentlemen. Let me make a toast. To professionalism.’

There was a stunned silence and no one moved. Mr Lewis shrugged, raised his glass to all the company, drank and sat back down. Almost immediately, Lord Darlington stood up.

‘I have no wish,’ his lordship said, ‘to enter into a quarrel on this our last evening together which we all deserve to enjoy as a happy and triumphant occasion. But it is out of respect for your views, Mr Lewis, that I feel one should not simply cast them to one side as though they were uttered by some soap-box eccentric. Let me say this. What you describe as “amateurism,” sir, is what I think most of us here still prefer to call “honour”.’

This brought a loud murmur of assent with several ‘hear, hear’s’ and some applause.

‘What is more, sir,’ his lordship went on, ‘I believe I have a good idea of what you mean by “professionalism.” It appears to mean getting one’s way by cheating and manipulating. It appears to mean serving the dictates of greed and advantage rather than those of goodness and the desire to see justice prevail in the world. If that is the “professionalism” you refer to, sir, I don’t much care for it and have no wish to acquire it.’

This was met by the loudest burst of approval yet, followed by warm and sustained applause. I could see Mr Lewis smiling at his wine glass and shaking his head wearily. It was just around this stage that I became aware of the first footman beside me, who whispered:

‘Miss Kenton would like a word with you, sir. She’s just outside the door.’

I made my exit as discreetly as possible just as his lordship, still on his feet, was embarking on a further point.

Miss Kenton looked rather upset.

‘Your father has become very ill, Mr Stevens,’ she said. ‘I’ve called for Dr Meredith, but I understand he may be a little delayed.’

I must have looked a little confused, for Miss Kenton then said:

‘Mr Stevens, he really is in a poor state. You had better come and see him.’

‘I only have a moment. The gentlemen are liable to retire to the smoking room at any moment.’

‘Of course. But you must come now, Mr Stevens, or else you may deeply regret it later.’

Miss Kenton was already leading the way, and we hurried through the house up to my father’s small attic room. Mrs Mortimer, the cook, was standing over my father’s bed, still in her apron.

‘Oh, Mr Stevens,’ she said upon our entry, ‘he’s gone very poorly.’

Indeed, my father’s face had gone a dull reddish colour, like no colour I had seen on a living being. I heard Miss Kenton say softly behind me:

‘His pulse is very weak.’

I gazed at my father for a moment, touched his forehead slightly, then withdrew my hand.

‘In my opinion,’ Mrs Mortimer said, ‘he’s suffered a stroke. I’ve seen two in my time and I think he’s suffered a stroke.’

With that, she began to cry. I noticed she reeked powerfully of fat and roast cooking. I turned away and said to Miss Kenton:

‘This is most distressing. Nevertheless, I must now return downstairs.’

‘Of course, Mr Stevens. I will tell you when the doctor arrives. Or else when there are any changes.’

‘Thank you, Miss Kenton.’

I hurried down the stairs and was in time to see the gentlemen proceeding into the smoking room. The footmen looked relieved to see me, and I immediately signalled them to get to their positions.

Whatever had taken place in the banqueting hall after my departure, there was now a genuinely celebratory atmosphere amongst the guests. All around the smoking room, gentlemen seemed to be standing in clusters laughing and clapping each other on

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