Some Questions about Literary Relations for
Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day

Ishiguro's novel grows out of several traditions within English literature. In some ways it is a kind of novel of manners, reminiscent of a writer like Jane Austen; in other important ways it is an historical novel, weaving personal and world histories in a manner similar to Graham Swift's Waterland.

Along very different lines the novel partakes, if only ironically, in the popular genre of "butler liteterature," especially popularized by the series of novels about Jeeves the butler, by P. G. Wodehouse.

Finally, the novel's style of narration is reminiscent of the tradition in narrative poetry of the dramatic monologue. That is, the speaking narrating voice in the novel is not only in the first person, but addresses an implied narratee whose "active absence" structures a motivating tension that requires self-explanation and examination, moving the speaking character to some moment of revelation or self-discovery.

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