Ambivalent Ghosts: The Manifestation of the Supernatural in Ruth Rendell's Fiction

Heholt, Ruth (2017) Ambivalent Ghosts: The Manifestation of the Supernatural in Ruth Rendell's Fiction. Contemporary Women's Writing, 11 (1). pp. 85-101. ISSN 1754-1484

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Abstract / Summary

Ruth Rendell only wrote two stories that could be classified as actual ghost stories, yet the supernatural fascinated her throughout her career. Ruth Heholt’s chapter examines the place and significance of the supernatural in Rendell’s work. She argues that in some cases ghost-seeing is a product of domestic entrapment for women and a symptom of psychosis. However, following a long tradition, the position of medium or soothsayer can provide empowerment and agency for women. These same traditions also allow the men who perceive ghosts or the supernatural a chance for an expansion of perception and an enhancement of intuition. Rendell stated clearly “I don’t believe in ghosts” (The Guardian, 2012), yet her work expresses an ambivalence towards the supernatural that is not resolved.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1093/cww/vpw031
ISSN: 1754-1484
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Literature
Depositing User: Ruth Heholt
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 15:48
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 15:16
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2237

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