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Rizq, R. (2014). Copying, Cloning and Creativity: Reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(4):517-532.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(4):517-532

Memory and Identification

Copying, Cloning and Creativity: Reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go

Rosemary Rizq, Ph.D., CPsychol, AFBPsS, FHEA

Kazuo Ishiguro's (2005) dystopian novel Never Let Me Go is set in 1990s Britain, in a boarding school called Hailsham. Through the adult voice of one of the children remembering her time growing up there, the reader gradually learns that Kathy and her friends have been raised as artificially-generated clones, manufactured to provide body parts for ‘normals’ in the world. The narrative deploys flashback and hindsight in order to interrogate the essentialism of biological origins, raising complex questions concerning the relationship between memory, copying, creativity and selfhood. These topics are discussed through a psychoanalytic reading of Ishiguro's novel where I draw on Apter's (2011) ideas about textual translation, Laplanche's (1999) notion of ‘afterwardsness’ and clinical material to explore the various ways in which memory and identification are implicated in the development of personal identity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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