Kazuo Ishiguro’s fiction is consistently interested in the complex nature of ritual structures, which, originally, in primitive societies, were meant to replace phases of inertia in the relations between individuals and the group. In Ishiguro’s work, however, rites of passage are often interrupted, or they fail completely, due to a method of often ironical narration that reveals moral and political crises. Ishiguro’s narrators are left searching their own memories for a key to the value of their own lives, which potentially fills the inertia and assuages the guilt of their existence. Although there are hints sometimes of a consolation for the emerging loss, it is the reader who is asked to assume responsibility for perceiving the disturbing void of liminality that lies beneath their often apparently confident identity and close relation to social groups.
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