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Jean RhysTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Erica Johnson and Patricia Moran

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402194

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402194.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Making a Scene: Rhys and the Aesthete at Mid-Century

Making a Scene: Rhys and the Aesthete at Mid-Century

Chapter:
(p.40) Chapter 2 Making a Scene: Rhys and the Aesthete at Mid-Century
Source:
Jean Rhys
Author(s):

Rishona Zimring

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402194.003.0003

This essay reads Rhys’s “Let Them Call It Jazz” (1962) through a consideration of a triad of mid-20th century writers who inherited and transformed a tradition of British aestheticism. The writers considered here are Rhys, the experimental novelist and cultural critic Brigid Brophy, and the poet and jazz critic Philip Larkin. All imagined the artist/intellectual as an outsider, cultivated in their writing strong, even aggressive individualists whose work carried on the legacies of British aestheticism as defined by figures such as Pater and Wilde, and all were preoccupied with music. This essay makes a strong case for putting Rhys’s mid-century short fiction, along with other previously marginalized literary works, on the map of 20th-century postwar literary history.

Keywords:   Jean Rhys, Brigid Brophy, Philip Larkin, aestheticism, postwar literature

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