One of the uses of taking a bath?

‘And to think of we have to be seen by the world to be arm in arm with them. One wishes for a good bath at the mere reminder.’–The Remains of the Day

Am I right in thinking that one can forget wretched things by taking a good bath?

He wishes for a good bath so that he may wash away the contamination he feels is exuded by them.

Here ‘good’ is used more in the sense of ‘thorough’ or ‘cleansing’ rather than the leisurely, relaxing sense the expression conveys these days.

Clearly, the joys of a power shower were unknown then :slight_smile:

This is from the Japansese version of the book. In Japanese, “穴があったら入りたい” means being very ashamed. It literally means being in the mood of “wishing to get away into a hole.” I think that the translator disregarded the original meaning.

The context allows English-speaking readers to step into the butler’s shoes, for us the “good bath” is felt as a means of cleansing himself from the disgrace of having to deal with “them” (and, if I remember correctly, from the shame that his master is dealing with them in the first place). The translation is still breath-taking, even if the fine distinctions possible in the Japanese original are not available in English. The mood of the book has stayed with me since I first read it shortly after publication here.

As I said earlier, these days " a good bath " in the sense of wanting to wash away contamination (emotional and/or physical) would be more likely a thorough scrub under a hot shower.

As Yutaka so rightly pointed out, the wonderful mood in the book comes straight from English and not as a translation from Japanese ! So it is the Japanese translator who interpreted the meaning behind “a good bath”. My fault!

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I suppose the English version is the original. Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the novel in English.

hahaha! Naturally, I forgot. It’s my age!

I love the feeling of getting into a hot bath and soaking there, but I get bored after a few minutes and get out. Therefore, I simply don’t take baths.

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Colin,perhaps the wretchedness of the world just doesn’t stick to you and only a short bath is required? But I quite agree with you I find lolling in the bath to be boring.Ah but a pool on a hot summer day,Thats a horse of a different color. Im afraid that I grow wistful for spring.