Article

Jean Rhys: Left Bank Modernist as Postcolonial Intellectual

Peter Kalliney

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195338904
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195338904.013.0017

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Jean Rhys: Left Bank Modernist as Postcolonial Intellectual

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This article uses the strange case of Jean Rhys to examine the durability of the author-dissident figure. It aims to show the degree to which modernism and postcolonialism depend upon one another for self-definition, and even the extent to which such definitions include large regions of contiguity and overlap. The discussion of racial conflict shows striking differences in the understandings attached to whiteness. The postcolonial literature was instrumental in reaffirming and redefining the status of experimentation in literature. The article suggests that the strong scholarly tendency to equate modernism with dissidence and formal experimentation owes more than people realize to the emergence of postcolonial writing in the latter half of the century.

Keywords: author-dissident figure; postcolonialism; Jean Rhys; whiteness; racial conflict; postcolonial literature

Article.  10084 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)

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