Parts Unknown: Strategies of Disappropriation in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go: Marta Komsta
Parts Unknown: Strategies of Disappropriation in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go
When we are scattered afar and asunder Parted are those who are singing today When we look back and forgetfully wonder What we were like in our learning and play Oh, the great days will bring distance enchanted Days of fresh air in the rain and the sun How we rejoiced as we struggled and panted Echoes of dreamland, Hailsham lives on Hailsham School Song (Never)1
As “an investigation, and criticism, of the destruction of imagination, memory and language,” Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go (2005) revolves around the writer’s recurrent themes of transience and loss, which underlie a story about a trio of friends—Kathy H., Tommy G. and Ruth—who are clones bred for the purpose of mass-scale organ transplant in an alternative post-war England (Groes 219). Narrated by Kathy, the novel illustrates the young woman’s struggle to come to terms with her frighteningly short life as a replicant. Her first-person recollections commence in Hailsham, a boarding school for juvenile clones, where Kathy, Ruth and Tommy become childhood friends. Later, ← 213 | 214 → the protagonists are relocated to the Cottages, a temporary countryside facility from which, according to the official newspeak associated with the cloning programme, the replicants are recruited to become “carers” and subsequently “donors,” who eventually “complete” on the operating table. The last part of the novel is set mainly within one...
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