Memorable Houses and Distorted Realities: Reading of the House in Historiographic Context in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day & John Banville’s The SeaMeri Tek Demir
This study aims to present an analysis of the house theme in the historiographic context of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and John Banville’s The Sea. From the eighteenth century to the present, the concept of the house has appeared as a prominent image in the British novel by referring to different aspects of the British lifestyle and social conditions, both in public and private terms. As critics argue, English estates and country houses represent a wider meaning than simply being vast and remarkable residences of the aristocracy. Considering the contemporary depictions of the house, one can see how it reflects the problematic link between the past and the present, as can be examined in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and John Banville’s The Sea. Both novels present middle-aged, nostalgic protagonists who seek meaning in the contrast of their memories and present conditions. In problematic personal quests between past and present, the image of the house plays an important role, materialising the link between the old and the new. Thus, the country house, as in former examples, is re-interpreted in contemporary novels in a historiographic context. Considering the historiographic structure and the symbolism reflected by the concept of the house in The Remains of the Day and The Sea, this paper aims to present how history, both on official and personal levels, is re-interpreted in a historiographic context by centering on the personal quest of the protagonists and their relationship to the house.