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“Fighting Mad to Tell Her Story”: Madness, Rage, and Literary Self-Making in Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid

  • Denise deCaires Narain
Chapter
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)

Abstract

In this chapter, deCaires Narain examines the complex and ambiguous ways that Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid mobilize a variety of meanings and registers of “mad” and “madness” in their texts, including alienation, terror, anguish, and anger. She argues that a comparative reading of Rhys and Kincaid, attentive to the explicit and implied autobiographical traces in their work, suggests more complicated possibilities than the familiar alignment of Rhys with alienation and Kincaid with anger. In both writers, the autobiographical features less as a desire for “self-expression” than as a painstaking commitment to writing as a space for exploring the very possibility of selfhood. As such, their works resonate strongly with Frantz Fanon’s and Judith Butler’s commitments to a relational conception of selfhood.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise deCaires Narain
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

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