Voyage in the Dark: ‘Two Tunes’
If the figures of the law are systematically debunked, so is another set of rules, language itself. Voyage in the Dark and Good Morning Midnight, each in a different way, build a code of feminine resistance to linguistic authority which simultaneously probes into the locus of the feminine. Both seem to define the feminine as a subversive force waging war against the master discourse. Jean Rhys develops an ethics of subversion akin to that which underlies Kristeva’s linguistic theory: for Julia Kristeva, the feminine can simply be defined as ‘that which cannot be represented, what is not said, what remains above and beyond nomenclatures and ideologies’. According to her, femininity, regardless of biological categories, is but one form of marginality among many and can be analysed as any other struggle against a centralized power structure. From the margin, then, Jean Rhys develops signifying structures other than those provided by consensual discourse which, as we have seen, tend to obliterate the truth.
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