Jean Rhys's Francophone English and the Creole “Impasse” of Modernity

Christopher GoGwilt

in The Passage of Literature

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751624
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866199 | DOI:
Jean Rhys's Francophone English and the Creole “Impasse” of Modernity

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Framed by a comparative study of Rhys's Good Morning, Midnight and Conrad's The Shadow-Line, Chapter 4 examines the problem of interior space that links Rhys's urban topography, Conrad's sea passages, and the arcades of Benjamin's Arcades Project. This problem of interiority is illuminated by the problematic anteriority of Creole narrative perspective in Rhys's early work. Tracing correspondences between the contrasting male and female experiences of metropolitan modernity in Benjamin and Rhys, the chapter relates these to the problem of white racial identity in the later work of Joseph Conrad. What emerges is the recognition of a non-European Creole identity as the lost cultural and historical perspective of Europe's past.

Keywords: Jean Rhys; Joseph Conrad; Walter Benjamin; Creole; modernism; Good Morning Midnight; Arcades Project

Chapter.  13466 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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