The Rhys Woman

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There is no control over memory. I have no doub This set of sixteen tales is remarkable, brilliant. I have no doubts that Jean Rhys had a perceptive eye. She went to the core of being a woman. Like in "Wide Sargasso Sea" it was a good parallel with the fictional, personal stories. The title which is also a title of one of the tales was chosen perfectly.


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I have a feeling that Rhys told me: 'sleep it off lady', that she wanted to tell us all the women : 'yes, life is very hard sometimes but you will survive and sometimes just sleep it off'. I add a summary from my edition of the book: Sixteen tales, uncannily and vividly drawn together like the fragments of a single life - childhood innocence destroyed under a louring Caribbean sky; youthful disenchantment with the London stage life of the s; brief encounters in the brittle gaiety of a Parisian nightclub and in London during the Blitz; followed by the slow, inevitable descent into old age and lonliness; and after death, the return.

Jean Rhys Had to Leave Her Home to Truly See It

Mar 28, Alan rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories. If some of the ones in the middle are lesser pieces, they all still have moments of insight, and lightness-of-touch but some great stories here, at the beginning the ones set in the Caribbean are full of danger and threat and curiosity and heat, the ones set in English boarding schools portray alienation and budding sexuality, and the Parisian ones are more mature, sexual; but the best one is the title story towards the end - an excellent 'descent' story as an elderly woman succumbs to illness.

If some of the ones in the middle are lesser pieces, they all still have moments of insight, and lightness-of-touch but electric writing.

A master at work. Few of the characters recur, but in the final assessment, one character appears on almost every page: that of the author herself, in a series of shallow disguises. Feb 20, Jen Kanke rated it it was amazing. Sleep It Off Lady is a loosely chronological collection of short stories, which mirrors Jean Rhys's own life. It starts with her childhood home of Dominica, though these are not cheerful tales of a tropical island paradise, but explore the same themes as her most famous novel Wide Sargasso Sea: madness, violence and racial tensions.

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Having read Rhys's collected letters, I can see many familiar preoccupations here, such as the dehumanising effects of poverty, the city, loneliness, isolation, illne Sleep It Off Lady is a loosely chronological collection of short stories, which mirrors Jean Rhys's own life. Having read Rhys's collected letters, I can see many familiar preoccupations here, such as the dehumanising effects of poverty, the city, loneliness, isolation, illness and old age. Also, the tribulations of the British weather: Jean Rhys detested the cold and often employs pathetic fallacy to imbue the weather with maudlin emotional significance.

As a fan of Jean Rhys, I found this collection enjoyable, but to someone who has never read anything by her, I would suggest reading her novels first. May 30, Leona rated it it was ok. More like sketches, or first drafts, of stories she had already written, but they do hint at her later life and her fears around growing old.

Better to read any of her other short stories or novels first Apr 27, Mkfs rated it it was amazing. A great collection of stories, by turns mordant and poignant. The difference is simply that Jean Rhys does it right: the stories are engaging, often not about the narrator at all, and establish their relevance by not over-emphasizing a trivial context at the outset "I was on vacation", "I was in grad school", "I was at a bar" I s A great collection of stories, by turns mordant and poignant.

I suspect that the MFA and workshop writing courses are telling people that their diary scribblings are Writing, that everyone has a story worth telling yawn , that Your View Matters.

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You know, the kind of writing that most people want to write, but few people want to read. It's hard work, doing it properly like Jean Rhys does. Mar 10, Henry rated it it was amazing Shelves: literary-fiction , modern-classic. A full up fan, my favourite female author. To write with such honesty and also simply and humbly , and be vulnerable and vicious at the same time, there is no-one like her I have read.

Moves from Paris, Dominica, London, English countryside, its all a joy. Loved it. Jan 12, Nick Jacob rated it it was amazing. Irresistible writer. These late stories have the same power as her masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea. Jul 20, Heather Gartside rated it it was amazing. My favorite writer. Her short stories leave me Startled and thoughtful every time. Sep 04, Michael Lewyn rated it liked it. These stories started off well, but felt repetitive after a while- all about depressing people being depressed. Sep 16, Andrew Guthrie rated it it was amazing. A collection of short stories published after Rhys regained her reputation after many years of obscurity as a writer due to the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea in Once one is familiar with Rhys' oeuvre and themes a collection like this helps fill in the blanks as the stories in this slim volume include episodes in the West Indies and tales of employment in a travelling theater in Britain, both actual circumstances in Rhys biography.

Rhys is categorized as a modernist through her use of s A collection of short stories published after Rhys regained her reputation after many years of obscurity as a writer due to the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea in Rhys is categorized as a modernist through her use of sparse descriptives and a multi-faceted telling that lets the reader fill in the blanks, but what makes her unique to the modernist canon is her perspective as a woman a certain kind of woman for sure. This should not pigeon-hole her literary value as she has the facility to get those conditions across through the stealth and wit of her art, providing an empathic account of a life or lives that are sorely lacking explication.

Rhys sometimes tells the story as a woman on her own, never quite "down and out" but living a kind of precarious existence that allows her an eye for an honest accounting of herself and her characters. Her take in one of the West Indian accounts of a family friend who turns out to be a "dirty old man", a benign yet insistent pedophile, well demonstrates Rhys acerbic wit and unwillingness to go along with the easy or obvious ethical outcome of such a narrative. Penso di aver trovato un'altra scrittrice da adorare come fosse dio in terra.

Sep 01, Kat rated it it was amazing. Enjoyed the change of Rhys' typical fiction: a young English woman goes to Paris. Nov 29, David added it. Rhys is the stuff of nightmares--polite demons, but nonetheless nightmare terrain. Jul 05, Laurie Borchard rated it it was ok. This collection of short stories is not nearly as good as her novels, which was a huge disappointment for me. Volkan rated it it was amazing Jun 08, Seyhan rated it liked it Jul 18, But that is not to say her diasporic experience is not very specifically shaped by the culture that she has come from and that which she meets.

When, late in life she achieved fame and critical attention in the wake of the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea , one reason for the breakthrough was the changed cultural climate; her attacks on the established order, on snobbishness, on conventional English sexual mores, on racism, were now in tune with the times. It was a very different period from the years of postwar Cold War conformity, when she had been unable to persuade Constable to publish a book of her short stories.

Her long publishing silence from was not the result of her ceasing to write; what she had to say proved unacceptable. Yet the circumstances that made her late success possible also adversely affected the way in which she came to be defined as a writer. They were the transcription of experience, very sensitive, very fine, but they had no message beyond the delineation of her individual life. It was still difficult to think of a woman as both sexual and intellectual, or indeed as intellectual at all. I mean that you feel better than you think. David Plante, in his grimly unsympathetic and luridly sensation-seeking account of her old age, produced a list of writers he claims that she said she had not read, most of whom are mentioned in her novels and letters and whose work she clearly knew.

Yet though Rhys had not learned in Dominica that landladies were mean with hot water, or that young ladies must not walk out by themselves, she had learned other things. She knew the colonialists in the past had behaved with unspeakable cruelty; she knew they still assumed their right to oppress economically and to maintain a legal system in their own interests. She knew about fear. Jean Rhys was never an intellectual in the sense that she published discursive essays or theoretical books.

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Rather than use, she mocks and exposes the authoritative language of power. When she arrived in she was not marked out as different by skin-colour as the majority of her fellow Caribbeans would be but, as soon as she spoke, her strong Caribbean accent identified her as alien. Accents were all important in assigning places in the English class system, and were only just beginning to lose their defining role when Rhys died in the late s.

I have my doubts about you. Speak up and I will place you at once. English, what sort of English?

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