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Wide Sargasso Sea: Backgrounds, Criticism…

Wide Sargasso Sea: Backgrounds, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) (original 1966; edition 1998)

by Jean Rhys

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,895198966 (3.56)699
The fortieth anniversary reissue of the best-selling "tour de force" (Walter Allen, New York Times Book Review).
Title:Wide Sargasso Sea: Backgrounds, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition)
Authors:Jean Rhys
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1998), Paperback, 270 pages
Collections:Removed from Library
Tags:read in 2007, 1001, swapped, fiction, woman authors

Work details

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

  1. 262
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (aces)
  2. 71
    The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert (Imprinted)
  3. 20
    Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (Petroglyph)
    Petroglyph: Even though Near to the wild heart was written some twenty years prior to Wide Sargasso Sea, these two share numerous features: the interior monologue, the lyricism, the heroine mostly living inside her skull, the central character who doesn’t see a way out of their mental frustrations with life. Lispector kicked all that up a few notches, but to me these two belong close together on my mental shelves.… (more)
  4. 20
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Philosofiction)
  5. 20
    Grendel by John Gardner (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Classics retold to give voice to silent characters important to their plots.
  6. 10
    After Mrs Rochester by Polly Teale (srdr)
    srdr: This brilliant drama illuminates the themes that run through Jean Rhys's life, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Jane Eyre.
  7. 32
    March by Geraldine Brooks (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Classic stories (Little Women/Jane Eyre) re-imagined through the experiences of characters who are important to the plot while being almost entirely unseen.
  8. 00
    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: colonialisme
  9. 22
    Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale Hurston (cammykitty)
  10. 01
    Bug-Jargal by Victor Hugo (Medicinos)
    Medicinos: Bug-Jargal décrit une société antillaise basée sur l'exploitation des esclaves qui éclate lorsque ces derniers se rebellent. La prisonnière des Sargasses décrit une société analogue après la rébellion.
  11. 01
    Blessed Is the Fruit: A Novel by Robert Antoni (IsolaBlue)
  12. 02
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (GlebtheDancer)
    GlebtheDancer: Dark, foreboding, claustrophobic feel. Self-destruction of central character. Similar prose styles.
  13. 03
    Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel by Yannick Murphy (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Lush depiction of tropics with natives playing important roles, women "bought" and tragic endings

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» See also 699 mentions

English (191)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (197)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
A novel that twists and turns suddenly in how you understand the perspective of the characters. I read this without a knowledge of Jane Eyre and the original characters, and found it alone a compelling study on character and prejudice. Excellent writing throughout. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
A kind of prequel to Jane Eyre, telling the story of Mr Rochester’s first wife who was kept hidden in the attic. It’s a really sad but compelling story. I read it in a couple of hours - kept thinking I was done for the evening then needing to pick it back up and continue. Mr Rochester tells the story to Jane like “They didn’t tell me until too late that she was mad and bad”, but here it’s more like “I found out from a shit-stirring estranged relative that my wife has a family history of mental illness, so I freaked out, stopped calling her by her real name or showing any affection, and for some reason her mental health suddenly got much, much worse”. ( )
  elusiverica | Aug 15, 2020 |
Finally read this after hearing about it for years. She sure packed a lot into a short novel. ( )
  nmele | Jul 21, 2020 |
I honestly do not know why this is considered a classic. The main thing I liked about this was its length and the ending, which tied it to Jane Eyre. I did not like the characterization or the writing. I had to reread passages to know what is happening, who is saying what, and whether it was real or a dream sequence. Both characters seemed to be going crazy and it was not clear why. But the author seems to be also making the point that Antoinette was not crazy but was like that because of how she is treated. But then with the dream sequences... So which is it? I did not recognize the monster that Rochester was in this. I did not like Antoinette either. I have to give credit to the author that she made a strong point about the lack of choices or power for women during that time. But that is about it. I would have given up on this if I hadn't owned a physical copy of it. ( )
  twinkley | Jul 2, 2020 |
Life in paradise
instant wealth, beautiful wife
eager to lash out. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rhys, Jeanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashworth, AndreaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daunt, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooney, BelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, AngelaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, FrancisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
'If you are buried under a flamboyant tree,' I said, 'your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.'
The saints we hear about were all very beautiful and wealthy. All were loved by rich and handsome young men.
Reality might disconcert her, bewilder her, hurt her, but it would not be reality. It would be only a mistake, a misfortune, a wrong path taken, her fixed ideas would never change.
'So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all.'
'You can pretend for a long time, but one day it all falls away and you are alone.'
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The fortieth anniversary reissue of the best-selling "tour de force" (Walter Allen, New York Times Book Review).

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Average: (3.56)
0.5 6
1 42
1.5 10
2 155
2.5 47
3 397
3.5 118
4 527
4.5 63
5 263

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182857, 0241951550

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