After my reviews of Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (here) and On Beauty by Zadie Smith (here), I decided to dedicate a full post to postcolonial rewritings and reworkings of the Western literary canon.
These are some works that I could think of off the top of my head, but if there are any more out there that I should know about, please let me know in the comments!
“A Ship Aground” (1828), William Turner.
There is something about the open ocean that has intrigued artists since man first learned to build a boat. Surviving at sea is a battle with nature, with the gods, with your other crew members, or with yourself (and if you’re Odysseus, all of them at once).
Original illustration by Chuck Groenink.
One of my favourite tropes: the doppelgänger! The word is borrowed from the German language and translates as “double walker.” It is a figure that is physically nearly identical (either a twin or of supernatural origin) to someone else, usually the protagonist. These stories tend to center around the double creating conflict and the protagonist trying to contain the damage while suffering the consequences (“that wasn’t me, it was my evil twin!“). The doppelgänger often functions as a dark double, the embodiment of things the protagonist has tried to suppress in himself.