"In Wave, Deraniyagala reinhabits
this tempestuous period [of the early days of her grief] with graphic immediacy, exposing 'the outlandish truth of me' in terse, impressionistic thought waves that make manifest the tenuous line separating grief from rage and cruelty.
Returning to the much-noted relationship between Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, and noting the central role of architectural structures in both texts, this essay analyses the ways in which the later novel 'revisits' and 'reinhabits' its forerunner.
(1) Specifically, the argument made here is that Rhys's subversive return to Jam Eyre and to the earlier novel's central gothic edifice, Thornfield Hall, is a revisitation of novelistic discourse as an instance of colonial discourse and of a particular discursive structure which I shall call the 'imperial archive.' The way in which the later text variously reevokes, reinhabits, but also displaces and threatens to destroy the architectural structure at the heart of its predecessor will be understood as part of the process whereby it 'decomposes' Jane Eyre as a textual structure, an argument that depends upon the sense in which, in the earlier novel, architectural and textual structures are already, as so often in gothic literature, elaborately intertwined.
Sedgwick argues that the reappropriation of queer does not "disavow a lot of the negative stereotypes associated with it, but rather reinhabits
them in different ways" (as cited in Yep 36).
As it dawned on me that the camel auction was a slave market, I appreciated how chillingly Dove reinhabits
the traditional form as a way of critically repeating the historical perspective of "civilized" whites seeing newly-arrived Africans, from whom they stand to make their fortune:
Matthiessen within her frame of forgotten authors and reveals one of the cultural moments she reinhabits. Howe's Matthiessen becomes a man who channeled his passion into letters to his male lover and who was ultimately driven to take his own life:
At the beginning of this text, Howe questions the reader and the figure of Anne Hutchinson whom she has reinhabited:
Louise Gluck once observed about a volume of poetry that did not, in her estimation, hold together as poems, that "the true object of love (in the book) is the suffering child, and the problem for artists dealing with this material is not to write from pity for the child one was but to devise a language or point of view that reinhabits anguish" (1994, 55).
One source of the power of "My Father's Loveletters" is that Komunyakaa devises "a language or point of view that reinhabits anguish." The narrator is his father's scribe, who grows to become the author who renders these moments in his family's history.