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Colonialism and the Modernist Moment in the Early Novels of Jean Rhys

By Carol Dell'Amico

Routledge – 2006 – 154 pages

Series: Studies in Major Literary Authors

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Description

Colonialism and the Modernist Moment in the Early Novels of Jean Rhys explores the postcolonial significance of Rhys’s modernist period work, which depicts an urban scene more varied than that found in other canonical representations of the period. Arguing against the view that Rhys comes into her own as a colonial thinker only in the post-WWII period of her career, this study examines the austere insights gained by Rhys’s active cultivation of her fringe status vis-à-vis British social life and artistic circles, where her sharp study of the aporias of marginal lives and the violence of imperial ideology is distilled into an artistic statement positing the outcome of the imperial venture as a state of homelessness across the board, for colonized and ‘metropolitans’ alike. Bringing to view heretofore overlooked émigré populations, or their children, alongside locals, Rhys’s urbanites struggle to construct secure lives not simply as a consequence of commodification, alienation, or voluntary expatriation, but also as a consequence of marginalization and migration. This view of Rhys’s early work asserts its vital importance to postcolonial studies, an importance that has been overlooked owing to an over hasty critical consensus that only one of her early novels contains significant colonial content. Yet, as this study demonstrates, proper consideration of colonial elements long considered only incidental illuminates a colonial continuum in Rhys’s work from her earliest publications.

Contents

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

Introduction

Chapter One: Good Morning, Midnight: Flaneur Novels and the Colonial

Chapter Two: Voyage in the Dark: Unhomely

Chapter Three: Rhys/Deleuze -- Rhys/Conrad: After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, Almayer's Folly, and the Problem of Masochism in Rhys

Chapter Four: Reading Quartet: "Phobic Nationalisms" and a Postcolonial Ethics

Coda

Bibliography

Notes

Index

Author Bio

Carol Dell'Amico is an adjunct professor of English at East Los Angeles College, California. She is also a freelance writer, contributing regularly to literary references publications.

Name: Colonialism and the Modernist Moment in the Early Novels of Jean Rhys (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: By Carol Dell'Amico. Colonialism and the Modernist Moment in the Early Novels of Jean Rhys explores the postcolonial significance of Rhys’s modernist period work, which depicts an urban scene more varied than that found in other canonical representations of the...
Categories: Modernism, 20th Century Literature, Literature