An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World

Book - 1989
Average Rating:
Rate this:
From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize - winning novel The Remains of the Day

In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.

Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the "floating world"--the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink--offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1986
Edition: 1st Vintage international ed
ISBN: 9780679722663
Branch Call Number: ISHIGURO K
PR6059.S5 A89 1989
Characteristics: 206 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 04, 2018

The earlier version of "Remains of the Day" but with a less satisfying ending.

theorbys Dec 10, 2013

Well written and interesting, especially for people like myself who regularly read Japanese literature (even if this is from England). It's subtle but not very strong. I don't know if I will read any more Ishiguro, maybe.

Jun 11, 2013

An elderly master painter looks back upon his life and his involvement in the war. A book of remorse in the end tinged with hopefulness and the ability of the human spirit to recover.

samutavi Oct 03, 2012

The language of this novel is so graceful. The protagonist is clearly rendered, but the strokes are abstract. It is the story of an artist that reads like a painting. That last sentence may not make sense outside of my own head, but it is exactly how I felt reading this book. Lovely.

Jan 31, 2012

True to Ishiguro's style, the novel is told in a foggy first-person narrative full of regret, honesty, doubt, and self-deception. Although the narrator is unreliable, the drastic changes in pre-war and post-war Japan are skillfully depicted.


Add a Quote

Jan 31, 2012

"The best things, he always used to say, are put together of a night and vanish with the morning. What people call the floating world, Ono, was a world Gisaburo knew how to value."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at MPL

To Top