« What’s Black and White and Read All Over? » Esquisse d’un je étrange : Half Life de Shelley Jackson “What’s Black and White and Read all Over?” Shelley Jackson’s Half Life , or a Strange Game of I and Seek


Abstract
Shelley Jackson’s first novel, Half Life, leaves Nora in command of the text, making her tell her story and conquer a self she was deprived of at her birth. But how to do so when “her” story is always-already “theirs,” split in half, and when saying I is therefore impossible? For Nora is not alone, Nora is inseparable—and literally so—from Blanche, her “twofer” sister. Through an interplay of binary oppositions, Jackson fashions the metaphor of writing and reading, inciting her reader to intervene in the text and dig deeper into it to cover meaning under the successive layers of whiteness that reveal the blankness of a page that is slowly being erased as one reads / runs over it.
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