Peter Carey: Jack Maggs

(1911 words)
  • Bruce Woodcock
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume Australian Writing and Culture.

Jack Maggs is Peter Carey's Wide Sargasso Sea, a postcolonial retaliation that rewrites a canonical text from the English literary tradition. Jean Rhys's novel gives voice to the silenced marginal figure of the madwoman in the attic in Jane Eyre; Carey's allows the transported convict Magwitch from Dickens's Great Expectations to take centre stage and tell his story from his own point of view. Whereas Rhys's heroine writes back against the male character who dominated her in Charlotte Brontë's original story, Carey's hero audaciously rewrites his own fictional creator, the novelist himself. As usual Carey crosses genre boundaries to create a distinctive narrative hybrid: historical fiction, which he …

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Woodcock, Bruce. "Jack Maggs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]