“The Buried Giant” – The journey to find memories
Should the memories be recalled? What is life that everyone craves? What is death that everyone is afraid of? Those are the questions that, perhaps, all of us have to spend our whole lives answering.
We always want to remember the past, but sometimes want to forget all. “The Buried Giant” is a book for those who want to forget but also want to remember the past memories.
At the beginning, the author brought the reader to the family of the elderly couple, the husband named Axl and his wife Beatrice. They live happily in a village. One day, they realized that everyone, including them, was capable of forgetting the past unusually. After a night of candlelight, he woke up, the sun shone down on their rustic house, recalling some strange things. He discovered that the pieces of memory are little by little appeared. They suddenly remembered that they had a son in the neighbor village, and decided to go on an adventure to find that child because that child might miss them so much. “I don’t remember his face”, Axl said, “It must be because of the mist. There are so many things I’m happy to forget, but how cruel it is when we don’t remember anything about such an important thing”. It can be said that the journey to find their children, is also the journey of the people who want to find their memories.
Beside to the story of the old couple is the story of the old knight Gawain, who has spent his life protecting the dragon Querig. Because Querig’s breathe made people unable to remember what happened. While the old couple worries “how strange the new world is, when people can forget the people they have just met or what just happened“, the knight does not. Gawain thinks that because of forgetting, people live peacefully. The memory is an overslept giant, but “the giant once buried is now starting to move. He soon woke up, and he would certainly wake up …” hate would exist, conflict and war would erupt, the earth would be tinged with sadness of killing. After all, all memories are not ones to remember or to forget but to accept and face even though it is sometimes difficult.
“The giant, once well buried, now stirs. When soon he rises, as surely he will, the friendly bonds between us will prove as knots young girls make with the stems of small flowers.”—– Kazuo Ishiguro —––
The Axl couple lived nearly their whole live, they loved each other, living for each other even when they could not remember their love, even when they recalled sad memories. It turns out the memory is not scaring, the scary thing is what people do when faced with it. Kazuo Ishiguro has a slow story writing style, each page gently walks through as the peaceful life of the village. And it seems that his choice of two characters who led the story is that the two grandparents had shown from the beginning that he did not want his story to be rushed, his adventures must have been very slow and mystical, hidden also until the end of the book is revealed. Wrapped in a fanciful, solitary atmosphere, Axl and Beatrice’s trip made the reader curious, not keeping his eyes on them and nervously not knowing what to expect ahead.
Although written without any haste, “The Buried Giant” is still a fascinating book, told by Kazuo Ishiguro’s own style, the story always holds its own rhythm with expensive circumstances, unexpected details and turnarounds.
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