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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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On the Veranda: Jean Rhys’s Material Modernism

On the Veranda: Jean Rhys’s Material Modernism

(p.59) Chapter 3 On the Veranda: Jean Rhys’s Material Modernism
Jean Rhys

Mary Lou Emery

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the veranda in Rhys’s writing as an architectural space that opens onto multiple stories, its material history embedded within five centuries of imperial conquest and conflict, the slave trade, the Middle Passage, the plantation, and the plantation’s legacies in city spaces of early 20th-century Europe. As a creolized architectural form, the veranda speaks also to global circuits stretching from its origins in West Africa and India through Europe and the Americas, with the Caribbean as a central point of transit. I analyse the veranda in Rhys’s writing – including several of the short stories and the novels Wide Sargasso Sea, Voyage in the Dark, and Good Morning, Midnight – as framing key characters, conflicts, and events within the transcontinental reach of this deep history. The layering of time and space, as built into the veranda, situates also the experimental prose of Rhys’s Caribbean modernism.

Keywords:   Jean Rhys, modernism, veranda, architecture, creolisation

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