Category Archives: Jean Rhys

The ghost in the fog

She walked through the fog into Tottenham Court Road. The houses and the people passing were withdrawn, nebulous. There was only a grey fog shot with yellow lights, and its cold breath on her face, and the ghost of herself coming out of the fog to meet her.
The ghost was thin and eager. It wore a long, very tight check short, a short dark-blue coat, and a bunch of violets bought from the old man in Woburn Square. It drifted up to her and passed her in the fog. And she had the feeling that, like the old man, it looked at her coldly, without recognizing her.

— Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie

There is no looking glass here and I don’t know what I am like now. I remember watching myself brush my hair and how my eyes looked back at me. The girl I saw was myself yet not quite myself. Long ago when I was a child and very lonely I tried to kiss her. But the glass was between us — hard, cold, and misted over with my breath. Now they have taken everything away. What am I doing in this place and who am I?

— Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea