Chapter

On Lingering and Being Last: Aphra Behn and the Deterritorialized Sovereign

in On Lingering and Being Last

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229406
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240982 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823229406.003.0002
On Lingering and Being Last: Aphra Behn and the Deterritorialized Sovereign

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In Virginia and in Surinam something new is revealed to Aphra Behn's eyes: sovereign authority exists as empty form only — both stories have absent governors — and the disarticulation of power and embodiment is complete. A kind of spatiotemporal distortion has gripped the entire legitimating apparatus. Janet Todd tellingly describes Behn's frame of mind at the time of her American works as a kind of spatial disorientation: “With the state shuddering [in 1688], she saw that there was really no inside in England, no safe place and she felt in London a similar sense of duplicity and instability to that experienced years ago in Surinam. Everywhere was ‘America’.”

Keywords: Surinam; spatiotemporal distortion; sovereign authority; Aphra Behn; America

Chapter.  12612 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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