By Sylvie Maurel (auth.)
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Extra info for Jean Rhys
After Leaving Mr Mackenzie, then, displays a double approach to time: precise chronology frames the representation of a life structured by disconnection and juxtaposition. Pitted against each other, the two systems effect a laying-bare of devices: the text refers to a model (chronological biography), while deconstructing it through the demonstration that content is not congruent with form. This coexistence is part of the novel's resistance to closure. It is a way of modulating the one-track quality of the narrative, of weaving AFTER LEAVING MR MACKENZIE 45 openness and possibility into the necessarily closed form of the work of art.
Her new indifference is prominent in section 21 in which Marya, now rejected by the Heidlers, lies almost lifeless on a beach on the French riviera: The beach was strewn with old sardine tins and fishing nets spread to dry in the sun. A little white boat, called Je m'en fous, heaved very slowly up and down at the end of its rope. Beyond the pebbles 22 JEAN RHYS and the sardine tins the sea was the colour of a field of blue hyacinths. Marya lay in the sun hour after hour and her thoughts were vague and pale, like ghosts.
By questioning the reliability of names and by generally loosening family ties, Jean Rhys might seek to represent obliquely 'Otherness itself', woman 'in her own right'. Voyage in the Dark also places difference 'in its own right' at centre-stage. Anna Morgan comes from the West Indies but where she comes from is hardly relevant, as the nickname the other chorus girls give her, 'the Hottentot', suggests (VD,12). What matters is Anna's essential difference, a difference that seems to be considered outside the duality of self and other.
Jean Rhys by Sylvie Maurel (auth.)