Manual Territories of the Psyche: The Fiction of Jean Rhys

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Dreaming for Freud. To answer this question, it is perhaps useful to look at a protagonist in a book who interests us.

She almost always has a similar character in her novels: someone who is a little older and more worn out but basically the same person, who we can't help thinking is probably modeled on herself. These women are the most unlikely of heroines. They are often down and out, have no money, no real place to live.


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Very often they don't have a job, or if they do, it is as a chorus girl or someone who lives off the men in their lives. Very often, despite their penury, they live in Paris and inhabit hotel rooms, which though somewhat dingy and depressing are made very vivid to us. There they lie in bed reading or thinking or receiving various lovers. They are not entirely without the ability to defend themselves. Mackenzie in "After Leaving Mr. They eat their meals in restaurants and never seem to have to cook or clean or wash their clothes.

Their misery is made almost, but not quite, unbearable.

We can identify with their sorrows but are not completely overwhelmed by them. They are able to express their emotions in wonderfully rendered sentences.

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Take for example this line from "Quartet": "She began to feel miraculously reassured; happy and secure. Her thoughts were vague and pleasant her misery distant as the sound of the rain. Sheila Kohler teaches at Princeton. Percorrendo i temi della dislocazione e della diaspora, della memoria e Jean Rhys and Linguistic Obeah".

As a performative process entangled with issues of cultural authority, translation has always played a crucial role in the Caribbean context. In particular, the establishment of an organized colonial system in the Anglophone Caribbean In particular, the establishment of an organized colonial system in the Anglophone Caribbean defined the English mother country as a powerful cultural and linguistic matrix, a space reproducing — or rather cloning — itself in its colonies.

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However, the very history of the Caribbean challenges and complicates possible notions of authenticity and originality, as the case of the white creole writer Jean Rhys illustrates. The essay explores the ways in which, in the attempt to gain control over her own writing and self- representation, Rhys re-appropriates the ambiguities of her Caribbean matrix and reworks it for her predominantly European readers. And All Women Mere Players? Dorothy Richardson, Jean Rhys and Radclyffe Hall have long been considered minor figures within the larger context of Modernism.

Also, very often their colourful biographies have received more attention than their literary works. The focus lies on the female heroines of the texts and their sense of identity.

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Drawing on the theoretical works of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and Michel de Certeau, Kerstin Fest shows how identity can be perceived as performance. Although in relatively powerless positions, they show a surprising degree of agency in carving out their roles to play. The results are highly individual and flexible versions of femininity that refuse to conform to a single mould. Narrating from the Margins. In Narrating from the Margins,Nagihan Haliloglu casts a discerning look at Jean Rhys's protagonists and the ways in which they engage in self-narration.

The book offers a close reading of Rhys's novels, with particular attention to the The book offers a close reading of Rhys's novels, with particular attention to the links between identity construc-tion and self-narration, in a modernist and postcolonial idiom. It draws atten-tion to particular subject-categories that Rhys's protagonists fall into, such as the amateur and the white Creole, and de-lineates narrating personas such as the mad witch and the zombie, to explore aspects of de-essentalization, narrative agency, and dysnarrativia.


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The way in which Rhys's protagonists engage in self-narration reveals the close link between race and gender, and how both are contained by similar metaphors, or how, indeed, they be-come metaphors for each other. The narrators are defined in relation to their place in the 'holy English family' and how they transgress the rules of that family to become 'exiles'. Related Topics. Wide Sargasso Sea. Bringing the resources of psychoanalytic and poststructuralist theory to bear on Chaucer's tales about women, this book addresses those registers The City of the Senses: Urban Culture and.

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"Haunted and Obeah": Gothic Spaces and Monstrous Landscapes in Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark

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