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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jean Rhys

The tragedy of her life is enough to make one writhe, then neck a six-pack.  Sexually molested at age twelve by a neighbor in his seventies, placed under the care of a voodoo-crazed domestic as a child by a cold-blooded mother, used as a throwaway sex toy by uppercrust Brits, joined in holy matrimony to two successive men who went to prison, living her entire adult life in relative poverty, her novels largely ignored during most of her lifetime, ending up drinking two bottles of wine or a bottle of whiskey a day, serving a term herself in Holloway Prison in London for assault--hard to imagine this poor cursed brilliantly gifted writer in an MFA program.  Or Burroughs, Hemingway, Salinger, Genet, Pynchon, Tolstoy, Dickinson, Proust, Dostoievski, O'Neill, Pinter, Joyce, Shakespeare, Woolf, Kafka.  If any of these writers entered a seminar room, the walls would immediately blow out from one-half to three-quarters of a mile.

Cf. The Blue Hour, an admirable study of Jean, though the sentences are short throughout and one keeps tripping over periods.

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