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Glaring Invisibilities and Loud Silences in ‘The Gipsy’s Baby’ by Rosamond Lehmann

Abstract : Rosamond Lehmann seems an unlikely candidate for the study of the voices and faces of the left-behinds since most of her novels deal with the unsatisfactory romances of women from the middle classes. Her short fiction—five stories written during WWII—is another matter. This is particularly the case of ‘The Gipsy’s Baby’, the longest piece of fiction in this collection, which revolves around ‘the logic of dispossession’ and can be said to show the processes of invisiblisation and silencing at work as far as the destitute are concerned: ostracization, humiliation, expertise, institutionalization, etc. On the other hand, the short story may be seen as a way for the grown-up narrator to give a voice to the most silent child of the poor family on which the short story focuses—the only one, however, who dared to ‘create’—and to write a verbal memorial to this girl, who becomes the spectral epitome of all the flotsam and jetsam haunting society and asking for recognition.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 10, 2021 - 8:07:09 AM
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Florence Marie. Glaring Invisibilities and Loud Silences in ‘The Gipsy’s Baby’ by Rosamond Lehmann. Études britanniques contemporaines - Revue de la Société dʼétudes anglaises contemporaines, Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2021, Invisible Lives, Silent Voices, ⟨10.4000/ebc.11250⟩. ⟨hal-03474007⟩



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