remains of the day

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What history is to a nation, memory is to the individual. Both serve to locate us, to tell us who we are by reminding us of what we have been and done. And both, as Kazuo Ishiguro suggests, are open to selection, repression and revision. The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro's third novel, examines the intersections of individual memory and national history through the mind of Stevens, a model English butler who believes that he …

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…every scene imaging the whole. In his carefully controlled prose, so perfectly suited to his narrator, in his effortless movement among several different time settings, in his almost magical evocation of simultaneous humor and pathos, Ishiguro proves himself a masterful artist in full command of his elements. And in this novel, those elements combine to form a profound psychological and cultural portrait that reveals the author's great abiding theme: the art and artifice of memory