This essay on The Remains of the Day and modes of reading takes as its starting point the novel’s historical setting of July 1956, which coincides with the beginning of the Suez crisis. Although the crisis never explicitly registers in the narrative, various moments of imperial affirmation and anxiety suggest that it may have the status of a symptom. I read with and against this supposition. In the essay’s first section, I show how the repression of imperial crisis in Stevens’s narrative is entangled with his memories of fascist appeasement and complicity. Prompted by the text’s pervasive and self-conscious interest in Freudian figures of memory—its untimeliness and displacements—the second part argues that The Remains of the Day incorporates the symptom as an aesthetic and historical strategy in order to itself theorize a postcolonial symptomatology. The novel thus helps us complicate the proposition that symptomatic reading is something critics do to texts and suggests, in its allegory of symptomatic reading, the contours of a postcolonial interpretive method.