On writing about big subjects

by look i have opinions

“I very much admire people who can […] take on bigger subjects full on. For me, it was enough that it was in the background, it was quite powerful like that, really. On the other hand, […] I can understand why some people may be rather skeptical about the fact that big issues like the atomic bomb, the Jewish Holocaust, things like that, crop up in a lot of books. There may well be a tendency [for writers]  to actually use the emotional material available in those issues, and so it does raise a very serious question about what is an honourable, honest way of using that material and what isn’t. And it’s a very difficult one.”

—Kazuo Ishiguro in a talk about his novel A Pale View of Hills, recorded here (around 37:00)

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