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Modernist SoundscapesAuditory Technology and the Novel$
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Angela Frattarola

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056074

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056074.001.0001

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Inner Speech as a Gramophone Record

Inner Speech as a Gramophone Record

Jean Rhys’s Bohemian Voice and Popular Music

(p.114) 5 Inner Speech as a Gramophone Record
Modernist Soundscapes

Angela Frattarola

University Press of Florida

In Jean Rhys’s fiction, advertisements, songs, books, and voices of others impinge upon the interior monologues of her characters. In particular, the popular songs that are integrated into Rhys’s first-person novels enhance the auditory nature of her interior monologues. Yet, while the songs referenced in Voyage in the Dark (1934) and Good Morning, Midnight (1939) sometimes foster automatic responses and clichéd understandings for her narrators, they can also instill a sense of defiance and comfort, making music one of the few channels for a momentary sense of fulfillment and expression. By surveying Rhys’s depiction of popular gramophone recordings and their Bohemian associations in her short stories, this chapter reveals how Rhys crafts and commodifies a bohemian voice in her novels, which sounds out the dialectical relationship between a middle-class public with an appetite for lurid tales of the underbelly of society and so-called bohemians, who pushed the boundaries of individuality and freedom.

Keywords:   Gramophone, Interior monologue, Bohemian, Voyage in the Dark, Good Morning, Midnight

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