I don’t know where it is in this book, but I swear I remember it saying that King Arthur had disappeared. You see, in Ishiguro’s book The Buried Giant, there is a man and his wife traveling to their son’s village. And in the midst of their journey, they encounter a warrior.
“That warrior’s an admirable fellow, didn’t you think so, princess?”
“No doubt,” [Beatrice] replied quietly. “But that was a strange way he had of staring at you, Axl.” (73)
At first, this made me think that this warrior was their long lost son. What irony that would be! But, without the author revealing more, I had to continue, at least until this came up again. This time the warrior, Wistan, was asking another knight to gaze upon Axl’s face.
“I beg you, sir, look at this man beside you and say if you’ve ever seen him in days past.”
Sir Gawain gave a chuckle…But as he gazed into Axl’s face, his expression changed to one of surprise—even shock. Instinctively, Axl turned away, just as the old knight appeared almost to push himself backwards into the tree trunk. (108)
Again! There’s something in Axl’s face that everyone recognizes, which leads me to believe, what would two knights have in common? A king perchance? I don’t even remember if it King Arthur was missing, or what was his role in the plot, but with this ‘fog’ causing all the people within the land to forget, I have to wonder that if Axl plays a bigger role than we thought, especially with the way he keeps remembering more and more of his warrior-like past.
Then, finally, I get more of a reveal on page 180! Tell me if this isn’t irksome.
“Sir Gawain, were we not comrades once long ago?” [Axl asks.]
“The mist hangs heavily across my past,” Axl said. “Yet lately I find myself reminded of some task, and one of gravity, with which I was once entrusted. Was it a law, a great law to bring all men closer to God? Your presence, and your talk of Arthur stirs long-faded thoughts, Sir Gawain.” (180)
Right now I’m on page 204, trying to find out more but really struggling, not because I don’t like the book, but because I think the constant jumping back and forth between memories has thrown me for a loop. With my skim reading and how subtle Ishiguro’s style is, I miss a lot of the transitions taking me into a character’s memory, and it really pushes me away when I get confused in the layers of action. I’ll have to focus on this later, and discover why it messes with me so much.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Buried Giant. New York, NY: Vintage International, 2015. Print.