The Storyteller’s Nostos: Recreating Scheherazade and Odysseus in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Manuel Botero Camacho, Miguel Rodríguez Pérez

Abstract


This article studies the account of Kathy H., protagonist of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), as the confluence of narratives through which an individual and her community construct their identity based on the remembrance of the events that have marked their lives, as well as on the literary texts and cultural conventions that have served as the archetypes upon which the narratives of their lives are built. Two paradigmatic figures stand out in Kathy’s story: Odysseus, the lost seafarer endeavouring to return home, and Scheherazade, the artful storyteller of the Arabian Nights. From this perspective, Kathy’s recollection constitutes her attempt to return to the mythic place that Hailsham has come to represent for clones that, unable to be carried out on physical terms, induces her to find alternative means to recover it through memory and storytelling. As a result, she constitutes a replication of Scheherazade, adapting this figure to her dystopian and postcolonial context in a narration that explores the interplay between memory, fiction and identity.

Keywords: Kazuo Ishiguro; Scheherazade; Ulysses; storytelling; un-belonging; memory


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References


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