| the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
|Wide Sargasso Sea
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1966
refered to by:
Double Play: The Story of an Amazing World Record
Frank Martinus Arion
The Tea Lords
Hella S. Haasse
The Grass is Singing
|Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known - a house with a garden where 'the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched.'
The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontė's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell - that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of
| that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. 'I watched her die many times,' observes the new husband. 'In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty.'
Rhys struggled over the book, enduring rejections and revisions, wrestling to bring this ruined woman out of the ashes. The slim volume was finally published when she was 70 years old. The critical adulation that followed, she said, 'has come too late.' Jean Rhys died a few years later, but with Wide Sargasso Sea she left behind a great legacy, a work of strange, scary loveliness.
|BOOKS BY JEAN RHYS:|
Wide Sargasso Sea
This novel describes the life of Antoinette Cosway, the fictional character who becomes the madwoman in the attic in Charlotte Brontė's Jane Eyre.
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, email@example.com
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn
Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.