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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article uses the strange case of Jean Rhys to examine the durability of the author-dissident figure. It aims to show the degree to which modernism and postcolonialism depend upon one another for self-definition, and even the extent to which such definitions include large regions of contiguity and overlap. The discussion of racial conflict shows striking differences in the understandings attached to whiteness. The postcolonial literature was instrumental in reaffirming and redefining the status of experimentation in literature. The article suggests that the strong scholarly tendency to equate modernism with dissidence and formal experimentation owes more than people realize to the emergence of postcolonial writing in the latter half of the century.

Keywords: author-dissident figure, postcolonialism, Jean Rhys, whiteness, racial conflict, postcolonial literature

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