The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro

Arthur is dead. The land is swathed in a Lethe-like mist. Two old people set out from their village to find their son. This is a tale of a journey, and the encounters upon the way. But it is a difficult journey because memory fails, under the spell cast by a great magician, using the power of a dragon. And journey's end is not their son's home, but another country entirely. This is an elegiac, poetic account of our relationship with death.

Extract

Axl noted all this with a sense of admiration for the soldier's strategic skill, as well as dismay at its implications. There had been a time when Axl, too, had once nudge his horse forward, in another small but subtly vitak manoeuvre, bringing himself in line with a fellow rider. What had he been doing that day? The two of them, he and the other rider, had been waiting on horseback, staring across a vast moor. Until that moment, his companion's horse had been in front, for Axl remembered its tail flicking and swaying before him, and wondering how much of this action was due to the animal's reflexes, and how much to the fierce wind sweeping across the empty land.

Parallels
  • The Death of Arthur by Simon Armitage
  • The Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest (translator and editor)