Penelope Voyages: Women and Travel in the British Literary Tradition

By Karen R. Lawrence | Go to book overview
Save to active project

5
Postmodern "Vessels of Conception": Brooke-Rose and Brophy

Penelope's Voyage ends with the trope and plot of the journey in postmodern experimental fiction. Christine Brooke-Rose's novel Between ( 1968) and Brigid Brophy's In Transit ( 1969) are prime examples of the scandalous, "writerly" text hypothesized by Roland Barthes in S/Z ( 1970): "What would be the narrative of a journey in which it was said that one stays somewhere without having departed -- in which it was never said that, having departed, one arrives or fails to arrive? Such a narrative would be a scandal, the extenuation, by hemorrhage, of readerliness" (105). Indeed, they anticipate his hypothetical conjecture about a new kind of narrative based on the trope of the journey. These multilinguistic narratives, which, as their titles suggest, thematize travel and translation, present both narratives of and narratives as journeys severed from origin and telos. In other words, these particular novels thematize, in their travel plots, their own experiments with the traditional shape of the journey that underwrites the trajectory of many classic narratives. In the discontinuities and gaps of their own narratives, Brooke-Rose and Brophy do not reject the crucial role of narrative and narrative journey but propose, with Barthes, a new logic for it.

Barthes identifies what he calls the "readerly" text, that is, classic realist narrative, as based on the model of a well-plotted journey, a traditional sequence of events of which he says: "To depart/to travel/ to arrive/to stay: the journey is saturated" (105). Like a well-guided tour, this type of narrative leads the reader from place to place, establishing an illusion of continuity in the fullness of its presentation: "To end, to fill, to join, to unify -- one might say this is the basic re

-207-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Penelope Voyages: Women and Travel in the British Literary Tradition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 268

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?