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Untimely Returns: Shoring Fragments Against Ruins in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

  • Sheila Teahan
Chapter

Abstract

This essay examines the problematics of the fragmentary, the ruined and the untimely in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Gaston Bachelard argues that a “creature that hides and ‘withdraws into its shell’ is preparing an escape.” Such escapes, which “take place in cases of repressed being,” manifest a “postponed aggressiveness, aggressiveness that bides its time”—a dynamic dramatized by Rebecca’s spectacular return. The narrator’s namelessness reflects her belated and fragmentary ontological status as dramatized by her fruitless attempts to erase Rebecca’s presence from Manderley. The tropes of fragmentation and of the return of the repressed are encapsulated by the narrator’s figure of the “funny fragment of time.” Manderley materializes the novel’s tropology of the ruined and the fragmentary.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila Teahan
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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