Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Speaking in Tongues and Dancing DiasporaBlack Women Writing and Performing$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mae G. Henderson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195116595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116595.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 December 2019

Gayl Jones’s White Rat

Gayl Jones’s White Rat

Chapter:
(p.122) 7 Gayl Jones’s White Rat
Source:
Speaking in Tongues and Dancing Diaspora
Author(s):

Mae G. Henderson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116595.003.0008

Silence and its opposite, speech, are primary attributes of the short stories comprising Gayl Jones’s White Rat. In Pinteresque fashion, Jones’s stories resonate with the plenitude and paucity of language in human relationships in the modern world. Her stories thematize and formalize silence as a stratagem reflecting the breaks and discontinuities in the connections and bonds between individuals. These silences are at times expressed by a recalcitrant refusal to speak and, at other times, by an eruption of speech displacing or veiling that which is often unsaid. The dialectic of silence and speech found in the title story “White Rat” also figures in stories featuring characters who harbor secrets and stage confessions. Left without clear resolution in typically open-ended stories, Jones’s characters rarely experience transcendence. Rather, they inhabit liminal zones of ambiguity, borderlands between speech and silence, reality and fantasy, reason and madness. Jones’s story-telling techniques often frustrate conventional notions of narrativization.

Keywords:   Mae G. Henderson, Gayl Jones, White Rat, silence and speech, borderlands, narrativization, open-ended, secrets, confessions, liminality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .