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The UnexpectedNarrative Temporality and the Philosophy of Surprise$
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Mark Currie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676293

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676293.001.0001

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Freedom and the Inescapable Future

Freedom and the Inescapable Future

Chapter:
(p.148) Chapter 9 Freedom and the Inescapable Future
Source:
The Unexpected
Author(s):

Mark Currie

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676293.003.0010

Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go involves a termporal experiment concerned with reconciling an unexpected revelation with the themes of freedom and fate. This chapter shows that the control of perspective in a first person narration is also a structure that binds together anticipation in memory in a tight complementarity. The analysis shows that the dynamics of prospect and retrospect in this novel demonstrate something about temporal experience in life, the way that it tempers our freedom and reconciles us to unacceptable conditions. The chapter makes use of a sociological concept known as ‘relative deprivation’ to show that narrative temporality can function both as a form of social control and as a defamiliarization of socialization processes. It also argues that the connection between freedom and fate in novelistic structure tends to re-enact at a thematic level the basic conditions of a future that is already in place that applies to all written narrative.

Keywords:   Memory, prolepsis, freedom, fate, relative deprivation, socialization

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