Ageing without Remembering: Neomedieval Fantasy, Memory and Loss in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant  

Sarah Falcus, Maricel Oró-Piqueras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In his most recent novel, The Buried Giant (2015), Ishiguro presents an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, who live in a Britain afflicted by a mist that makes everyone forget not only their common historical past but also their own life experiences and memories. By focusing on the journey of the two elderly and increasingly frail protagonists within a fantastic, neomedieval world, the novel challenges the chronometric and future-oriented model of time in which youth is an asset and old age inevitably a burden. Related to this, the novel interrogates the model of generational succession as straightforward renewal and progress, instead positing a cyclical movement through which the mistakes of past generations are repeated once and again. In this novel, endurance in the face of vulnerability, as experienced by the elderly characters of the novel, seems to be the only plausible answer to an inevitable repetition of mistakes and the cyclical nature of trauma.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Sep 2020

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