Becoming-Bertha: virtual difference and repetition in postcolonial 'writing back', a Deleuzian reading of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea

Burns, L. (2010) Becoming-Bertha: virtual difference and repetition in postcolonial 'writing back', a Deleuzian reading of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. Deleuze Studies, 4(1), pp. 16-41.

[img] Text
50386.pdf

162kB

Abstract

Critical responses to Wide Sargasso Sea have seized upon Rhys’s novel as an exemplary model of writing back. Looking beyond the actual repetitions which recall Brontë’s text, I explore Rhys’s novel as an expression of virtual difference and becomings that exemplify Deleuze’s three syntheses of time. Elaborating the processes of becoming that Deleuze’s third synthesis depicts, Antoinette’s fate emerges not as a violence against an original identity. Rather, what the reader witnesses is a series of becomings or masks, some of which are validated, some of which are not, and it is in the rejection of certain masks, forcing Antoinette to become-Bertha, that the greatest violence lies.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Gilles Deleuze, Jean Rhys, writing back, becoming, Wide Sargasso Sea, virtual, Difference and Repetition
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burns, Dr Lorna
Authors: Burns, L.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Deleuze Studies
ISSN:1750-2241
ISSN (Online):1755-1684
Published Online:01 January 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Deleuze Studies 4(1):16-41
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record