OF MIMICRY AND WOMAN: A FEMINIST POSTCOLONIAL READING OF WIDE SARGASSO SEA AND THE BIGGEST MODERN WOMAN OF THE WORLD
Palavras-chave:feminism, postcolonialism, revisionist reading, representation, Jean Rhys, Susan Swan,
ResumoFeminist and postcolonial studies have shown a similar concern with the production of new and more empowering subjectivities for those historically cast as subaltern in androcentric western contexts. In literature, as in criticism, concepts such as revision and subversion receive unprecedented attention as discourse, and hence narrative, begins to be seen as the very site where identity and relations of power are constructed and negotiated. Among the many women writers who sought to counterbalance the white maleness of the literary canon by giving colonized women a voice and a (hi)story are writers as diverse as the Dominican-born English writer Jean Rhys and the Canadian novelist Susan Swan. In their major fictional works, respectively Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) and The Biggest Modern Woman of the World (1983), they challenge the tradition of both literature and history by providing secondary or marginal women characters with a story of their own. Based primarily on the concepts of subversion and rearticulation proposed by Judith Butler and Homi Bhabha, this paper investigates and compares the strategies of representation employed by Rhys and Swan in the above novels with special attention to the relationship between the protagonists’ bodily experiences and the countries and cultures they stand for.
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