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The Passage of LiteratureGenealogies of Modernism in Conrad, Rhys, and Pramoedya$
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Christopher GoGwilt

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751624

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751624.001.0001

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

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

(p.97) 4 Jean Rhys's Francophone English and the Creole “Impasse” of Modernity
The Passage of Literature

Christopher GoGwilt

Oxford University Press

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

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