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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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the shoulder. Mr Lewis, so far as I could ascertain, had already retired. I found myself making my way through the guests, a bottle of port upon my tray. I had just finished serving a glass to a gentleman when a voice behind me said:

‘Ah, Stevens, you’re interested in fish, you say.’

I turned to find the young Mr Cardinal beaming happily at me. I smiled also and said:

‘Fish, sir?’

‘When I was young, I used to keep all sorts of tropical fish in a tank. Quite a little aquarium it was. I say, Stevens, are you all right?’

I smiled again.

‘Quite all right, thank you, sir.’

‘As you so rightly pointed out, I really should come back here in the spring. Darlington Hall must be rather lovely then. The last time I was here, I think it was winter then too. I say, Stevens, are you sure you’re all right there?’

Perfectly all right, thank you, sir.’

‘Not feeling unwell, are you?’

‘Not at all, sir. Please excuse me.’

I proceeded to serve port to some other of the guests. There was a loud burst of laughter behind me and I heard the Belgian clergyman exclaim:

‘That is really heretical! Positively heretical!’ then laugh loudly himself.

I felt something touch my elbow and turned to find Lord Darlington.

‘Stevens, are you all right?’

‘Yes, sir. Perfectly.’

‘You look as though you’re crying.’

I laughed and taking out a handkerchief, quickly wiped my face.

‘I’m very sorry, sir. The strains of a hard day.’

‘Yes, it’s been hard work.’

Someone addressed his lordship and he turned away to reply. I was about to continue further around the room when I caught sight of Miss Kenton through the open doorway, signalling to me. I began to make my way towards the doors, but before I could reach them, M. Dupont touched my arm.

‘Butler,’ he said, ‘I wonder if you would find me some fresh bandages. My feet are unbearable again.’

‘Yes, sir.’

As I proceeded towards the doors, I realized M. Dupont was following me. I turned and said:

‘I will come and find you, sir, just as soon as I have what is required.’

‘Please hurry, butler. I am in some pain.’

‘Yes, sir. I’m very sorry, sir.’

Miss Kenton was still standing out in the hall where I had first spotted her. As I emerged, she walked silently towards the staircase, a curious lack of urgency in her manner. Then she turned and said:

‘Mr Stevens, I’m very sorry. Your father passed away about four minutes ago.’

‘I see.’

She looked at her hands, then up at my face.

‘Mr Stevens, I’m very sorry,’ she said. Then she added: ‘I wish there was something I could say.’

‘There’s no need, Miss Kenton.’

‘Dr Meredith has not yet arrived.’

Then for a moment she bowed her head and a sob escaped her. But almost immediately, she resumed her composure and asked in a steady voice:

‘Will you come up and see him?’

‘I’m very busy just now, Miss Kenton. In a little while perhaps.’

‘In that case, Mr Stevens, will you permit me to close his eyes?’

‘I would be most grateful if you would, Miss Kenton.’

She began to climb the staircase, but I stopped her, saying:

‘Miss Kenton, please don’t think me unduly improper in not ascending to see my father in his deceased condition just at this moment. You see, I know my father would have wished me to carry on just now.’

Of course, Mr Stevens.’

‘To do otherwise, I feel, would be to let him down.’

‘Of course, Mr Stevens.’

I turned away, the bottle of port still on my tray, and reentered the smoking room. That relatively small room appeared to be a forest of black dinner jackets, grey hair and cigar smoke. I wended my way past the gentlemen, searching for glasses to replenish. M. Dupont tapped my shoulder and said:

‘Butler, have you seen to my arrangements?’

‘I am very sorry, sir, but assistance is not immediately available at this precise moment.’

‘What do you mean, butler? You’ve run out of basic medical supplies?’

‘As it happens, sir, a doctor is on his way.’

‘Ah, very good! You called a doctor.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Good, good.’

M. Dupont resumed his conversation and I continued my way around the room for some moments. At one point, the German countess emerged from the midst of the gentlemen and before I had had a chance to serve her, began helping herself to some port from my tray.

‘You will compliment the cook for me, Stevens,’ she said.

‘Of course, madam. Thank you, madam.’

‘And you and your staff did well also.’

‘Thank you most kindly, madam.’

‘At one point during dinner, Stevens, I would have sworn you were at least three people,’ she said and laughed.

I laughed quickly and said:

‘I’m delighted to be of service, madam.’

A moment later, I spotted the young Mr Cardinal not far away, still standing on his own, and it struck me the young gentleman might be feeling somewhat overawed in the present company. His glass, in any case, was empty and so I started towards him. He seemed greatly cheered at the prospect of my arrival and held out his glass.

‘I think it’s admirable that you’re a nature-lover, Stevens,’ he said, as I served him. ‘And I dare say it’s a great advantage to Lord Darlington to have someone to keep an expert eye on the activities of the gardener.’

‘I’m sorry, sir?’

‘Nature, Stevens. We were talking the other day about the wonders of the natural world. And I quite agree with you, we are all much too complacent about the great wonders that surround us.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘I mean, all this we’ve been talking about. Treaties and boundaries and reparations and occupations. But Mother Nature just carries on her own sweet way. Funny to think of it like that, don’t you think?’

‘Yes, indeed it is, sir.’

‘I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if the Almighty had created us all as – well – as sort of plants. You know, firmly embedded in the soil. Then none of this rot about wars and boundaries would have come up in the first place.’

The young gentleman seemed to find this an amusing thought. He gave a laugh, then on further thought laughed some more. I joined him in his laughter. Then he nudged me and said:

‘Can you imagine it, Stevens?’ and laughed again.

‘Yes, sir,’ I said, laughing also, ‘it would have been a most curious alternative.’

‘But we could still have chaps like you taking messages back and forth, bringing tea, that sort of thing. Otherwise, how would we ever get anything done? Can you imagine it, Stevens? All of us rooted in the soil? Just imagine it!’

Just then a footman emerged behind me.

‘Miss Kenton is wishing to have a word with you, sir,’ he said.

I excused myself from Mr Cardinal and moved towards the doors.

I noticed M. Dupont apparently guarding them and as I approached, he said:

‘Butler, is the doctor here?’

‘I am just going to find out, sir. I won’t be a moment.’

‘I am in some pain.’

‘I’m very sorry, sir. The doctor should not be long now.’

On this occasion, M. Dupont followed me out of the door. Miss Kenton was once more standing out in the hall.

‘Mr Stevens,’ she said, ‘Dr Meredith has arrived and gone upstairs.’

She had spoken in a low voice, but M. Dupont behind me exclaimed immediately:

‘Ah, good!’

I turned to him and said:

‘If you will perhaps follow me, sir.’

I led him into the billiard room where I stoked the fire while he sat down in one of the leather chairs and began to remove his shoes.

‘I’m sorry it is rather cold in here, sir. The doctor will not be long now.’


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