A seemingly paradoxical sequel

  One of the innovative modes of literature in the context of postmodernism is to partially or completely deconstruct a certain classic work, introduce contemporary concepts, and let some elements of traditional novels be separated from the narrative procedure. “Charlotte—Jane Eyre’s Last Journey” (hereinafter referred to as “The Last Journey”) published by the contemporary British writer Donald Michael Thomas in the form of a “sequel” to “Jane Eyre” is such a memorable novel. masterpiece. Thomas entered the British literary world with his novel “The White Hotel”, which was published in 1981 and was nominated for the “Booker Prize”.
  Struggling in the conflict between desire and death: interpretation of the true meaning of life
  Thomas familiar with Freud’s psychoanalysis, which can be seen from “White Hotel” and “Paintings at an Exhibition”. “The Last Journey” once again shows that Thomas was deeply influenced by Freud’s psychoanalysis theory on the fundamental issues of life in his literary creation. If Thomas criticized Freud’s thought in “The White Hotel”, he basically accepted Freud’s “pansexualism” in “The Last Journey”.
  Jane’s final love journey is a continuous interpretation of a series of psychological conflicts and binary oppositions, the core of which is the conflict between desire and death, that is, the conflict between the desire to survive and enjoy sex and the desire to die. Freud divided the psychological structure of personality into three layers: “id”, “ego” and “superego”. The id is hidden in the unconscious, and its driving force is “libido”, an instinctive impulse that is not bound by reason. The “ego” and “superego” are often combined to represent reason, and they try to suppress the wild and unruly “id”. Jane failed to experience a normal sex life after her marriage, and Rochester’s impotence made her feel painful and depressed. Despite this, Jane still tried to suppress her “I” in the depths of the unconscious. She even thought, “Even if there is no cure, as long as there is love, I can accept the reality of not having children.” However, as Freud said, “Dreams are a perfectly reasonable mental phenomenon, in fact, a wish-fulfillment.” The “libido” that Jane tried to suppress during the day was symbolized way appeared. “I had a dream that night in which I saw my father for the first time… He and I looked out over the rough waves… He took a small curly snake out of his pocket and said it was not a dangerous poisonous snake, If I speak softly to it, it will straighten its body. The snake did straighten its body and wave its head in front of me, I forgive you! Latitude 3R bathing target margin Nata cape Natao cut squid frame thin 8    Qiongzhi squid В  飧 雒 wo harmonic squid to 4 sauce ο 笳鲜! Bar larvae stealthily kill scandium plaque  Nan笳ao , snake The symbolic meaning of the stretched body is even more obvious. Another symbol worth noting is the raging waves: water is a symbol of women, and the subsidence of the waves seems to imply Rochester’s impotence. This dream reflects Jane’s unconsciousness. Sexual repression felt in the dream. If Jane’s “ego” prevails in the daytime, then “Id” can finally surpass the suppression of “ego” in the dream and gallop freely in the realm of unconsciousness.
  Freud believed in “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” that the id is composed of “survival instinct” (ie libido) and “death instinct”. The “survival instinct” provides people with the motivation to live, while the “death instinct” is manifested through behaviors such as invading others, destructive, and destructive. The death instinct is to return to the original state, or return to the mother body. Because the mother’s womb is the source of life and the birthplace of happy regeneration. The life instinct represents the power of love and construction, which is synthesized by ego instinct and sexual instinct. Jane’s married life is the interpretation of the binary opposition between the instinct of life and the instinct of death, and also the interpretation of the true meaning of life. The book describes a black pool named “Grave Pond” located at the northernmost end of Ferdinand Manor without sunlight. Jane tried to spend the rest of her life in a “graveyard” after Rochester died in a riding accident. According to psychoanalysis, the shape of the pond symbolizes the female womb. Jane’s death impulse to commit suicide by stepping into the cemetery is precisely the unconscious desire to end her life’s pain, return to her mother’s body, and relive the care of the fetus, because the “life instinct” that represents love and sexual instinct has followed Rochester dies and dies, and the instinct to die becomes strong and irrepressible.
  But Jane failed to die as she wished, and Grace saved her. Her distress still could not be relieved. Finally, the creditor’s right problem or an “indescribable factor” prompted her to embark on a journey to find Rochester’s son. In Martinique, after going through untold hardships, she finally found her son Robert who had been separated from Rochester for many years. It was also at that time that she finally realized the joy of being a woman and a wife, and found fleeting happiness. But after all she is Robert’s stepmother by name, and so a variant of the Oedipus complex arises, manifested as an incestuous desire. Perhaps when Jane succumbed to an “indescribable factor” and felt that “finding this son would bring Edward back to life in her heart”, she had unconsciously developed a desire for incest. When this desire was satisfied, a heavy guilt complex was buried in Jane’s heart. Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious holds that archetypal symbols are preserved in the memory of generations. In Jane’s unconsciousness, there may also be the shadow of Queen Jocasta who cannot avoid the tragedy of fate, marries her son and has children. Jane’s joy was like a flash in the pan, and her death instinct was once again highlighted. Even though she was pregnant with Robert’s flesh and blood, she finally ended her life of unremitting struggle and pursuit of happiness by dying.
  Rochester is the source of this tragedy, and he is also full of conflicts between id and ego, life instinct and death instinct. He married his first wife, Bertha, and gave birth to a son. Just because the son had dark skin, he concluded that she was unfaithful, but he didn’t know that the black gene was only passed down from generation to generation. The black child planted the seeds of misfortune for the family, and Rochester began to deliberately neglect Bertha. Although he still loves her, he blindly suppresses his sexual instinct, which results in a sexual perversion formed by sexual repression and depression, which is similar to the “castration complex” that appeared during the growth period of children. Later, Bertha was tortured and became insane, but Rochester asked Grace to sexually abuse him to vent his desire. Even after Bertha’s death, he often asked Grace to imitate Bertha to sexually abuse him. He claims to love Jane, but has no desire for her, and he can sit still with all opposite sexes. This is extremely abnormal. “In fact, the sexual instinct is the strongest instinct. It is difficult for ordinary people to see a girl with bright blood and be able to remain still with a ‘heart like an ancient well’, just blindly appreciating the beauty of curves.” His abnormal sexual behavior is precisely What Roland Barthes called sexual “inversion” is “a way of seeking sexual satisfaction in a particular hobby.” His abnormal psychology and performance are the result of the “displacement” of the “id” after being suppressed, which is also the root of Jane’s unhappiness in marriage. After Jane hinted that their sexual life was not harmonious, Rochester had a desperate and gloomy expression on his face, and then he walked out of the house as sleepwalking, and fell into a ravine on horseback that night and died. In the final chapter, Grace confirms that he went to her place that night. After a bit of masochism, he begged Grace to come back with him after Thornfield’s repairs to help him balance his perverted sex life, but Grace refused. So he becomes desperate, “seems like he doesn’t even care about life and death”, which essentially implies the disappearance of the life instinct in Rochester. Although the author did not specify that he died by suicide, a disabled person with poor eyesight galloping on a fast horse in the middle of the night is tantamount to suicide. The author also hints that Rochester, like Jane, went to the pool that symbolizes the womb after Thornfield Manor burned down.

  Freudian psychological binary conflict runs through this story. The protagonist is always struggling in the conflict between desire and shame, which is the continuation of the theme that Thomas deliberately explored in “The White Hotel”.
  A “modern scribe”‘s deconstruction of the novel’s narrative
  ”The Last Journey” consists of two juxtaposed texts that are both independent and interrelated. These two texts are independent of each other and echo each other, technically integrating realism, modernism and postmodernist narratives. The boundary between fiction and fiction, and the deconstruction and reconstruction of novel narrative.
  From the first chapter to the fifth chapter and the eleventh chapter and the last chapter constitute “Bronte’s text”. The author mainly adopts realistic narrative techniques, but the themes are contemporary. “Jane Eyre” is full of mystery, and Bronte sets up many suspense: the old mansion, the creepy laughter, the madwoman in the attic… The ending is unavoidable, after all, “lover will get married”. Jane stated in the last chapter: “I have been married for more than ten years… I think I am extremely happy, so happy that it is difficult to describe in words.” Not happy. On the wedding night, she was somewhat disappointed, because Rochester had lost his sexual ability, and Jane was ashamed to speak about it. After Rochester’s death, when she went to Martinique to look for Rochester and his ex-wife Bertha’s son, she also discovered Rochester’s unspeakable feelings for his ex-wife and self-abuse sexual perversion. Later, Jane falls in love with Rochester’s black son and lives together. The happy days were fleeting, and Jane soon contracted a fever and died unfortunately. Thomas, who skillfully uses the female perspective and is good at discovering the inner world of women, solves the emotional entanglements brought about by Rochester’s first marriage in a more realistic style than realism, and makes readers who love the romance of “Cinderella” in “Jane Eyre” deeply disappointed.
  A second independent text consists of the other chapters of the novel, taking place in the present day. In this “story within a story”, Miranda is an expert in women’s literature at a university. She is also continuing to write Jane Eyre’s marriage ending, and as an expert on Bronte, she goes to Martinique, France ( Jane Eyre finds her final home here) attending an academic conference. During this period, she took advantage of sexual adventures to make a comeback. Ciyan delicious pocket Mubei   bath ⑾ dong zhi  mildew fen xin chi  lie  show the sky to train men  ditch table 镏 ⒒ cheek roll. On the one hand, condemn the west based on the policy of imperialist bloody aggression and war On the one hand, they depend on the government’s subsidy to live.
  D·M Thomas continues to explore the techniques of experimental metafictional text writing in The Last Journey. Generally speaking, as one of the postmodernist literary phenomena, metafiction is a text that subverts the narrative mode of traditional novels and reveals its fictionality, and a text that reminds readers to pay attention to the way novels are written. In “The Last Journey”, this kind of subversion is realized by the mutual reflection of two related texts. They cross together to exert influence on the reader, and finally generate a novel in his/her mind based on the reader or the reader’s aesthetic orientation. The invisible text of the subject and different opinions. In other words, Thomas has changed his identity from a traditional author to an author in the postmodern era, that is, a “modern scribe”.
  Barthes once said that for the reader, the text is no longer the product of the author, but something that appears in front of the reader in a “synchronous” state on the same level as the scribe, so the reader should treat them as equals. Thomas’s exploration of novel writing techniques is an attempt to put Barthes’ ideas into practice.
  As a semiotician and a master of Saussure’s semiotic theory in the field of literary and artistic appreciation and criticism, Barthes pointedly pointed out that “the book itself is only a kind of symbol, a kind of confused and infinitely distant imitate”. Perhaps this assertion just reveals the essence of postmodernist metafictional texts, that is, dispelling the emphasis of the realist literary view on the function of language to reproduce reality, affirming the doubts of the modernist literary view on human cognitive ability, and indulging in what is meant in the reading process. The game of constant migration implies that the reader is the final determiner of the meaning of the symbolic text.
  In contrast to Barth’s assertion that “the scribe no longer has passion, character, emotion, and impression”, Thomas used Miranda’s mouth to criticize Charlotte Bronte, Tolstoy, Proust and other realities. Novelists of modernism and modernism “lie”, even “master liars”. “They lie because the materials and themes of the works are taken from their own lives and emotions, but they are distorted and deformed, partly out of fictional needs, partly because they don’t know who is creating part of the legendary story. , the self to be discovered in a romantic story.”
  According to Saussure’s view of language, there is no correspondence between language and reality outside language. Therefore all statements are doomed to be false, and there is always a distance between them and the reality they try to reproduce, so all the written or oral expressions of people are not lies or not. The best-selling books of contemporary American horror novelist Stephen King seem absurd at first glance, but they are closer to reality than the realism and modernism of Charlotte Brontë, Proust and others, because such absurdities The works of classics all tell readers unambiguously in some way: what the author tells is just a story, just “lying”, and does not try to show “what really happened”. In this regard, Thomas expressed a paradox that is plausible: “The farther a novelist is from the reality we experience, the less he or she will lie.” Another “misstatement” made by the author is the re-fiction of fiction, the abandonment of objective reality and psychological reality, and it also shows the fictional nature of the novel while devoting itself to fiction.
  The re-fiction of fiction in the novel is realized by juxtaposing the story of the female scholar Miranda in the second independent text. She went to Martinique to attend an academic conference and formulated a new writing plan: to continue writing Jane Eyre’s unhappy marriage based on Charlotte’s “leftover” manuscripts, in order to discover “some repressed themes”. Similar to the embarrassment that Jane faced after her marriage, Miranda’s marriage also fell into many crises. Miranda’s father Stevenson Sr. accused her husband of being a “puritan”, so readers can easily guess that her and her husband’s sex life was not harmonious. What she describes about Jane’s unhappiness in marriage is essentially a reflection of her own unhappiness. This is also the meaning of “discovering oneself”. After experiencing a series of confusion and pain similar to what Lisa experienced in “The White Hotel”, Jane found Robert in Martinique, an object who could release libido, and Miranda was also in Martinique. Sexually indulgent way to escape from spiritual crisis. Robert is much older than Jane, and their relationship is actually a deformed Electra complex, which mirrors Miranda’s own incestuous impulse towards her father. Although Miranda and his daughter did not cross the last line of defense, the ambiguous relationship between them is obvious. Miranda’s parents are also reflected in Rochester and Bertha. Miranda’s mother, Emma, ​​suffers from manic depression, who is as dissolute and glamorous as Bertha, and finally commits suicide in madness. Her father, like Rochester, was sexually perverted, and he liked to listen to pornography, which was a “strange mixture of intense jealousy and excitement: when Emma stimulated and teased me with her affairs with other men.” When getting along with his daughter, he often regarded Miranda as her mother, had many hallucinations, and even said to her: “Your legs are so beautiful, Emma, ​​did Peter praise them?”

  Elegant and vulgar: a meta-fiction text with both skill and plot
  The author repeatedly reiterated that the sequel novel was rewritten based on the manuscript left by Charlotte, but finally explained the fiction of the novel through the dialogue between Miranda’s father and daughter substance. The father said: “The text about making Jane Eyre’s manuscripts – needless to say it is fictional?” “Oh, my God, yes!” It is also very evident in the first text. The author bluntly stated in the second chapter: “As we all know, in novels—take Miss Austen’s novels for example—the author tends to be stingy when expressing the most interesting content after the wedding. Therefore, the story in the bridal chamber Sex in bed was avoided, along with the mundane details of married life.” The subject of sex was taboo in the Victorian era. However, the author boldly expounds the theme of sex in a joking tone and narrative techniques in the 19th century. This is a tease of many values ​​and taboos of the Victorian era, thus subverting the original intention of Charlotte. The author also reminds readers: “I noticed that similar experiences (referring to the details of life after marriage) have never been mentioned in the temple of marriage. The reason is that writers like us have doubts and fears, especially female writers…” This is The reader is reminded that this story does not take place in Jane Eyre’s time or Charlotte’s time, as these repressed themes were never mentioned in those times.
  Together, these two texts fulfill their mission to allow the reader to appreciate, in a third invisible text that comes to mind in his own mind, how the author uses them to illustrate how a novel becomes a novel, how to reveal the fictionality and self-referentiality of the text sex.
  ”Metafiction writers have a habit of surreptitiously incorporating implicit criticism into texts, thereby ‘fictionalizing’ them. They also like to subvert the credibility of more orthodox fiction by resorting to parody.” Tongner Metafictions such as Bokov’s “The True Life of Sebastian Knight” and Barthelme’s “Snow White” adopt similar narrative strategies, aiming to imply the “uncertain inner nature” and playful Parody is the main paradigm of The Last Journey. The author uses this to exaggerate and distort the theme, content and form of previous literary masterpieces, making them ridiculous.
  ”Uncertain interiority” and playfulness are important features of postmodernism, including rupture, perversion, rebellion, arbitrariness, paradoxical contradictions, and open endings. In this text, this kind of disintegration of the function and meaning of the novel can be seen everywhere, for example, Miranda’s speech and behavior in the torment of lust are often inconsistent and even contradictory. For example, she first said that her husband had died of a heart attack, and then corrected: “He is still alive, but he is dead.” She claimed that her husband had a mistress, and then denied it, saying that it seemed unlikely. She said that she was not a casual woman when it came to sexual relations, but she had affairs with several men. One of the lovers, Juan, said that he hated homosexuality the most, but he himself was a gay man. This set of contradictory words makes readers question the authenticity of the characters in the book, and then turns their attention to the writing itself. These expressions affirm and then deny the facts continuously, the reality of the matter no longer exists, and the function and meaning of the novel will also dissolve accordingly.
  There are also many random inversions, breaks and collages in the novel, which break the integrity of the novel. Reality, memory, and hallucinations are often arbitrarily intertwined, leaving the plot in a kind of chaos. Miranda once recalled calling her father, who asked if she had a boyfriend. And her answer was: “There was a man who loved me very much. He proposed to me, and I said yes. But I found out that he was married. Just before the wedding, his sick wife, completely crazy wife Attempt to burn me in bed, and I will know the truth.” In fact, this is the story of Rochester and Jane Eyre. But the father said: “This bad man, Charlotte.” Miranda also referred to herself: “I didn’t just die, I have been dead for a long time.” In fact, she fell into the illusion of Jane or Charlotte at this time , because the author has arbitrarily replaced the identities of Miranda, Jane, and Charlotte.
  The text is occasionally inserted with news clips and some scattered topics, such as students taking drugs, NATO, the war in Serbia, and the lies about the war by politicians such as Clinton. And Miranda had visions of whipped slave boys, the eyes of babies on either side of a ditch waiting to avenge the mother who had deserted them, and the bony gray cow. All these scattered fragments put the whole text on a broad plane, while the depth of meaning is dissolved.
  The author designed several endings of the story:
  Miranda may end up divorcing David;
  David may go to live with his ex-wife’s son;   Miranda
  may go to Africa to have a baby;
female relationship.
  So the open ending allows readers to participate in the construction of the plot in the invisible text. Everything can be explained this way or that way.
  If it is said that the indeterminate text enables the signifier to dance freely, makes the signified lose its way out, and finally makes the meaning disappear, then what is the existence value of the postmodern text? Perhaps this is the essence of postmodernist metafiction. Although it is scattered in terms of formal structure and uncertain in terms of interpretation expectations, the text has its own depth of meaning, but it requires the active participation of readers in the language game to construct this deep meaning. Some people point out that parody is the core of postmodernism, but it does not make the text lose its meaning and purpose, but it means that it acquires new ideas. This new idea is that the writer no longer shoulders the mission of history, but only “raises the tragedy of life, the contingency of life, and shows people the situation of human existence.” Perhaps the situation of the scrawny cow that Miranda never forgets in “The Last Journey” is a reflection of the human condition.
  There are various ways of writing novels, and there are also various ways of writing metafictions. Shandy, the “grandfather” of metafiction, rejects the concept of plot as the “first principle” of literary critics since Aristotle. The plots of contemporary metafictions such as “Snow White”, “Little Tycoon”, “Auction Lot 49” and “New York Trilogy” are either chaotic and puzzling like riddles, or they throw out a pure and lovely plot in unscrupulous ridicule. Fairytale narrative. Their purpose is the same, that is, to draw the reader’s attention to the writing of the text, making him realize that no matter how fascinating the plot arrangement is, it is meaningless, and the reader can obtain exclusive meaning in the way of participating in the creation. , Thomas inherits the modern and contemporary British metafiction tradition initiated by Fowles with “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”, and takes into account the readability of the text while skillfully using a variety of postmodernist metafiction techniques. From The White Hotel to The Last Journey, he has perfected the art of dismantling the boundaries of space and time and of juxtaposing several narratives. Both novels are told by different narrators who see the world around them through their own eyes. Through the interaction between texts, readers are guided to go in and out of “stories”, “stories within stories” and even “stories within stories within stories”. “White Hotel” uses surreal first-person narration (poetic), realistic first-person and third-person narration, retelling of history, etc., from different angles to repeatedly tell about Lisa’s cure of the disease with Freud’s help. The story of hysteria caused by sexual confusion, but finally swallowed by an extremely evil alien force. “The Last Journey” is more concise, using only two tangible texts with limited space and mutual refraction to “integrate several women separated by nearly two centuries”.
  The reason why a novel is a novel is that it has a plot that makes readers chase after it. As a kind of story novel, metafiction should also have a plot. “A novel is about telling a story. The story is the basic aspect of a novel. Without a story, it is not a novel.” Even in the postmodern era, this view is still not outdated. Following Freud’s discussion of intellectual curiosity and sexual desire, and the text as a source of seduction and pleasure, Barthes talks about narrative in erotic terms such as striptease, comparing the two: “It is not stripping In both cases, there is no gap, no edge; only a gradual revelation: the whole thrill lies in the desire to see the genitals (a schoolboy’s dream) and to know the ending of the story (romantic sexual gratification).”
  Thomas is not the first author to write a prelude or sequel to “Jane Eyre”. Like Jane Rhys, the author of the previous “Jane Eyre” “Wide Sargasso Sea” (Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966), Thomas He has also carefully studied “Jane Eyre” as the parent book, and is well versed in the literary fashion of the Victorian era in which Charlotte Bronte lived, but he uses “The Last Journey” as a seemingly paradoxical sequel to it Deconstruction, integrating the joys and sorrows of the world with complex text experiments in the interlacing and inversion of time and space. In an era when many metafiction writers depreciate plot, Thomas still loves “storytelling” and wins a large number of readers for himself by focusing on the readability of his works. Since the publication of “The White Hotel” in 1981, most of his works have become bestsellers. After Fowles, he made the metafiction less daunting.

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