ebook ∣ Memory, Trauma and Nostalgia in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro
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Loss is the core experience which determines the identity of Kazuo Ishiguro's narrators and shapes their subsequent lives. Whether a traumatic ordeal, an act of social degradation, a failed relationship or a loss of home, the painful event serves as a sharp dividing line between the earlier, meaningful past and the period afterwards, which is infused with a sense of lack, dissatisfaction and nostalgia. Ishiguro's narrators have been unable to confine their loss to the past and remain preoccupied by its legacy, which ranges from suppressed guilt to a keen sense of failure or disappointment. Their immersion in the past finds expression in the narratives which they weave in order to articulate, justify or merely understand their experiences. Their reconstructions of the past are interpreted as exercises in misremembering and self-deception which enable them to sustain their illusions and save them from despair. Revisiting Loss is the first book-length study of memory encompassing Ishiguro's entire novelistic output. It adopts a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining a selection of philosophical (Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricoeur, and Jean Starobinski) and psychological perspectives (Sigmund Freud, Frederic Bartlett, Jacques Lacan, and Daniel L. Schacter). The book offers a thoroughly researched critical survey drawing on all published critical monographs and collections of academic articles on Ishiguro's work.